London — Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, has announced a new £5 million fund to help families recycle, without facing the threat of unfair bin fines or cuts to their bin collection services. The extra funding will help councils with weekly collections increase their recycling rates, by giving incentives – such as shopping vouchers and loyalty rewards – to households who recycle. This follows a commitment in the Coalition Agreement to help support such schemes.
This move comes as the Deregulation Bill before Parliament is set to abolish the powers that hit households with unfair bin fines for breaching complex and arbitrary waste rules. The new fund will only be open to councils offering weekly collections, with ministers sending a clear signal that councils only offering fortnightly collections will lose out on government funding.
The scheme builds on the success of around 40 projects already supported by government money to trial and pilot reward programmes. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s reward scheme was the first of its kind in this country when it launched in 2010. The council lets thousands of residents earn points for recycling, which they can then spend at local shops. This has been a big success and boosted recycling in the borough by more than a third (35 per cent).
Eric Pickles said:
- „It is a myth that fortnightly bin collections or unfair bin fines are needed to increase recycling. Rewards for recycling show how working with families can deliver environmental benefits without the draconian approach of punishing people and leaving out smelly rubbish.“
- „This government is protecting the local environment by supporting recycling, as well as championing weekly collections which protect local amenity and public health. Councils with fortnightly collections will not receive government funding and are short-changing their residents with an inferior service.“
- „There is an alternative to the town hall bin barons who pushed through fortnightly bin collections and are now trying to move to monthly bin collections by stealth.“
Source: Department for Communities and Local Government