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Councils to reward recycling rather than tax waste

Ecologist

8th June, 2010

UK Government decides to scrap plans for a tax on bins, saying it would have 'fuelled fly-tipping', and says reward schemes will be more effective

Councils will be encouraged to start incentivising residents to recycle after the new UK Government scrapped plans to charge people for the amount of waste they bin.

The so-called 'bin tax' would have lead to more fly-tipping and backyard burning, according to local government minister Eric Pickles.

He said a voluntary points-based reward scheme would be more effective at increasing recycling rates and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Welsh officials also confirmed that they had no plans for charging people for the collection of household waste being sent to landfill.

Reward scheme


A loyalty card style scheme was recently launched in Windsor and Maidenhead which will allow households to collect points for the amount of waste they recycle worth up to £135 a year. These can then be redeemed with more than 100 reward partners, including Marks and Spencer and Cineworld, or donated to local schools.

However, Friends of the Earth said a reward scheme on its own would not be enough and was also unlikely to work in high density urban locations.

The campaign group said the Maidenhead and Windsor scheme relied on a chip installed in recycling bins to allocate rewards, which might not work in areas where communal recycling facilities exist.

Friends of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins also said it was wrong to completely reject the idea of a waste levy as charging people for the waste they generate worked well in the rest of Europe, where recycling rates are higher than the UK.

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