Reward recycling study urges

The Government should back financial rewards to communities which increase recycling instead of controversial "pay-as-you-throw" bin charges to cut waste, a report has urged.

The New Local Government Network's (NLGN) study said "introducing penalising charges for waste will not assist in the amount of rubbish society throws away".

Instead the think tank recommended community incentives and rewards such as grants to improve street lighting or children's equipment for a local park.

The NLGN also said the Government should introduce a new generation of incineration plants to divert rubbish from landfill to generating electricity.

The Time to Waste report suggests that anything from 10 large-scale incinerators to 200 smaller community "anaerobic digestion" plants which use organic waste to create biogas might be needed.

Communities should be given financial incentives such as a £50 discount on energy bills to host local energy-from-waste plants, the report suggested.

Councils could also do more to inform householders about the need to cut the amount of rubbish they throw out, for example by indicating waste charges separately on council tax bills so people see how much it costs, the NLGN said.

In a bid to cut the amount of rubbish going to landfill, the Government announced a series of pilot projects last November to encourage people to recycle more by charging to collect waste.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that under the schemes, residents who throw away the least amount of rubbish would receive a rebate and those throwing away the most could pay more.

The success of the schemes would be assessed before making a decision on whether they will be introduced more widely, Defra said.

Plans for what critics describe as a "bin tax" had earlier descended into chaos when Downing Street stepped in to block an announcement giving the idea a full green light.

Image: Penalties for discarding rubbish instead of recycling is not the way forward, says the New Local Government Network's (NLGN) study

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