Pay as you throw tax

May 25, 2007 at 12:00 pm

The government is about to reveal its new waste strategy which will attempt to reduce the amount of waste being buried in landfill sites throughout England, as required by EU rules. Britain is one of the worst countries at recycling with only Greece and Portugal having a worse record. The government’s aim is to increase recycling and composting from 27% to 40% by 2010 and to 50% by 2020.

The new plan is expected to include proposals for a “pay as you throw” tax on rubbish which means that an average household would be charged around £120 a year to have its waste collected. Electronic sensors would be fitted to wheelie bins to enable the rubbish to be quantified. Last autumn the Mail on Sunday reported that 25,000 chips had been removed by angry home owners in Bournemouth. Critics of the scheme fear that unscrupulous householders will dump their rubbish in their neighbour’s bin or fly-tip.

With only nine years of landfill space estimated to be left, something obviously needs to be done to encourage recycling. In Germany the recycling rate is 58% and a major contributor has been the Green Dot system, whereby manufacturers and retailers have to pay a fee based on the amount of packaging used. This has led to less paper, less metal and thinner glass resulting in a decrease of 100 million tons of rubbish a year – definitely food for thought for us in the UK.

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5 responses to “Pay as you throw tax”

  1. Paul Reynolds says:

    The proposed Taxes will cause massive Fly Tippling problems. No proper strategy exists to help people to dispose of redundant furniture and electrical items. With so much produced in the Far East, how does one return products for recycling. Pay people to recycle, not Fine them. It will work.

  2. Elizabeth Dutton says:

    I feel this is a good idea if we were given a rebate for the recycling that we spend a lot of time sorting, composting, free recycling and charity shopping.

  3. Shane Miles says:

    Pay as you throw is an interesting idea but it raises many questions such as is the government going to provide adequate at home recycling bins at the moment the east riding does not collect green waste (some people eg flat dwellers do not have any where for a compost bin) batteries,glass and a lot of plastics. Will the household be rewarded for being green as we already have taxes for most things such as duty on fuel, road fund licence and COUNCIL TAX which as i understand it already covers rubbish collections and vat on the products we buy does this new tax mean we will pay for products up to three times one vat when we buy it two in this new tax and three in our council tax which increases yearly but from my view does not improve service. finally will those who are on benefits receive another form(more paper!!) to claim help with said tax

  4. Sheryll Dixon says:

    One useful way to ensure items don’t go to the landfill is to put them on It is now a global movement of freecyclers who are passing useable items onto to others FOC. It’s free to join just click on your area on the main board.
    Happy freecycling

  5. Sally Ager-harris says:

    I am writing with regard to the lack of resources dedicated in West Berkshire and Berkshire in general for recycling. I live in Upper Basildon and do utilise the regular recycling collection service but also have to make a weekly journey to Savacentre, Calcot or Waitrose, Tilehurst Reading to access the additional recycling waste bins for items that are not collected.
    On every occasion that I have been to any recycling site in the area, all of the different containers provided are overflowing so the additional items have to be left beside the bins. There are also some sites i.e. Sainsbury’s in Tadley that do not provide bins that take all of the different items that can be recycled i.e. yoghurt pots, margarine and other items.
    Can you please advise on what plans there are to increase facilities for recycling and whether it has been considered that each village should have at least one site WITH BINS FOR ALL THE DIFFERENT types recycling instead of different areas having 1-2 types meaning you have to visit several areas to get rid of it all. This would cut down on people that have cars having to travel as well as providing a local site that is more easily accessible for the local communities. This could also then cut out – except for those who are house-bound – the need to go house-to-house to do the weekly / fortnightly collection service that can instead be done per village.
    I am surprised at the lack of resources dedicated to recycling in light of the focus on this issue. Further, it seems that with the imminent introduction in some areas of “paying for rubbish” that this would help everyone.

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