Government proposes cash rewards for recycling

May 31, 2007 at 10:07 am

Green householders are to be offered financial rewards for recycling under government plans to reduce waste across England. Emphasising the economic benefits of recycling, the 2007 Waste Strategy proposes a removal of the ban on financial incentives for waste prevention and recycling.

The government has decided not to introduce a local variable waste charge, as seen elsewhere in Europe. Instead, it wants legislative change to allow local authorities to design their own reward schemes. These would be revenue neutral in that high recycling, low waste households would get money back while poor performers would pay more (without any overall increase in charges). The government claims that such measures could reduce annual residual waste landfill by up to 1.5 million tonnes.

In Treviso, Italy, waste has fallen by 12% since the introduction of incentive schemes while in Maastrict, Netherlands, recycling has increased from 45%-50% to 60%. A pilot schemes in Ovenden, West Yorkshire saw a 26% rise in recycling over six months when residents were able to earn £25 for local charities for every tonne of waste sent for recycling.

The Local Government Association (LGA) reacted positively to the proposed measures, saying that only local authorities working on the ground had the ability to decide how to encourage residents to take more responsibility for their rubbish. In ‘Can we win the war on waste?’ an online BBC discussion on the issue, householders expressed reservations. Some felt that variable charges could lead to an increase in fly-tipping while others suggested the producers of excess packaging and junk-mail should be targeted before tax-payers.

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One response to “Government proposes cash rewards for recycling”

  1. Paul says:

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