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Trial of reward based recycling continues

October 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Following the announcement of a similar scheme in Windsor and Maidenhead, Halton Borough Council has decided to trial a reward-based recycling scheme. After half the residents in Windsor and Maidenhead signed up for the trial – earning themselves on average £20 in Marks and Spencer vouchers – Halton has decided to give the idea, which was recently endorsed by a report from Harvard University, a go.

The council has clearly decided that ‘stick’ methods such as bin police surveillance has angered residents instead of getting them to reduce the amount of household waste ending up in landfill sites. Using the ‘carrot’ approach, residents will be paid for every kilogram of recyclable waste they put in the correct bin. To avoid providing an incentive to raid neighbours’ bins for recyclables, Halton Borough Council will place a cap of £130 on annual earnings per household.

The decision to undertake this trial may have been influenced by the increasing pressure on local authorities to get residents to separate their recyclable and non-recyclable waste. Recent statistics have shown that last year alone a huge 54% of household waste in the Borough went to landfill compared to just 1% in Germany. One factor for this imbalance is that there is a landfill ban for household waste in Germany, one of several countries to have brought in this measure. Britain is expected to follow suit in about 2011 after a planned public consultation in early 2010.

As well as rewarding residents for separating their waste, the council is likely to be spared the job of weighing it as it is intended that microchips will be installed in the bins. It seems likely that, should these reward-based trials prove successful, they will become part of a wider national scheme to help promote a sustainable UK society by raising awareness through education.

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One response to “Trial of reward based recycling continues”

  1. biggreen says:

    At last – a council that is prepared to do something positive to encourage recycling.
    This will be much more effective in increasing recycling than the plans elsewhere to have mobile wardens who will issue fines to home owners who mistakenly put rubbish in the wrong bin.
    The councils involved in this incentive scheme should get an award!

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