Householders who fail to fit all their rubbish into a wheelie bin could be fined £100 under radical plans to boost recycling.

Those repeatedly caught leaving extra bin bags next to their wheelie bins could be targeted under a crackdown by council enforcement teams.

But the policy would only apply to people with wheelie-bins and not people living in blocks with communal bins.

Brighton and Hove City Council's environment committee is today considering the proposals.

Residents caught putting bags of rubbish out next to their wheelie bins would be given three weeks to start reducing and recycling their waste.

Council officers would also call to try to educate them on how to cut down their rubbish and recycle more to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites.

If the residents still failed to fit their rubbish into their wheelie bin, they would face the heavy fixed-penalty.

A team of council enforcement officers has already been monitoring homes in Brighton and Hove, targeting residents throwing out excessive amounts of waste and not recycling.

So far, a handful of persistent offenders have been identified and may be issued with notices once the policy was agreed.

However, the council team will speak to offenders to ensure they do not have a valid excuse before a legal warning is issued.

Only areas with wheelie bins are being targeted but the scheme could later be rolled out across the city.

The council has the power to search through a dumped bin bag to trace its owners and fine people for fly-tipping but said it would only use this option for bags left in the street.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chairwoman of the environment committee, said the policy did not discriminate against those in houses.

She said: "Towns and cities are made up of different types of housing and require different approaches. We are talking about waste, increasing recycling and getting neighbourhoods clean.

"Ending the piles of bin bags near bins is having a big impact on the appearance and cleanliness of streets. Fewer bags means less opportunity for wildlife to tear them open and scatter the contents."

But not everybody agrees with the introduction of fines.

Magpie, a cooperative company which provides its own recycling service for 5,000 city residents, believes positive action should be taken.

A spokeswoman said: "It is not the way forward, I think the way is through education.

"I know that has worked for lots of other authorities. Fining people puts out the wrong message on recycling, forcing people to do it."