Throw away Britain … ‘pay us to recycle’.


A new BBC survey has revealed that 79% of women and 70% of men believe they should be rewarded financially if they create less waste and recycle more.

From January English councils will be able to bid for pilot schemes to incentivise people for recycling more and deter them from throwing stuff away.

A much narrower majority – 55% of women and 50% of men – said it was only fair they should pay more if they throw away more. Just over 70% of both women and men said they would be more careful about creating waste if they had to pay for it to be collected.

But councils may be alarmed by another finding – 46% of men and 41% of women said they did not trust their local authority to administer any new waste charges fairly.

Ministers are hoping to attract English local authorities to bid for the pay-as-you-throw schemes permitted in the Climate Change Bill, which passes its final hurdle this week.

But previous pilot charging schemes have been hugely controversial, with a computerised chip-and-bin system in South Norfolk being abandoned after repeated technical failures and delays to bin rounds.

The Environment Minister Jane Kennedy responded to the BBC survey, saying: “It is encouraging that such a high proportion of people recognise the responsibility we all share to dispose of our waste in a way that reduces our impact on the environment.

“It is for local authorities to decide on the solutions that work best in their areas and we have provided them with all of the measures that they requested in order to do so.”

Welcome to ‘variable charging’. Just don’t go throwing rubble into your bin or inflated party balloons. Oh, and don’t forget to recycle. There’s that small matter of councils not taking most types of plastics, including food containers such as yoghurt pots ….

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4 Responses to Throw away Britain … ‘pay us to recycle’.

  1. earthpal says:

    I don’t agree with the pay-as-you-throw schemes because people who are well off will continue to make waste leaving the rest of us to take responsibility. And there’s the problem of fly-tipping too. But do you know what? Maybe I’m missing the point but I find it disgusting that there are people who think they should be rewarded for such a simple eco-act of recycling that is, after all, in their own interest. Why would people need an incentive to recycle? Have they still not got the message?

    In my town, recycling could not be easier. We have a grey bin for our recyclable stuff and a smaller burgundy bin for the non-recyclables. We don’t need to sort out all our different materials. The council employees do it for us. We just chuck it all into one bin. The non-recyclable bin is emptied weekly and the recyclable bin is emptied fortnightly. My grey bin is almost full by the end of the first week and my burgundy bin is never full.

    Matt, I know I’m not supposed to but I throw most of my plastics into the grey bin and so far, no-one has told me to stop. Presumably, the guys who sort it all just put it into the non-recyclable waste at their depot or whatever, but I hope it’s sending them a message.

  2. matt says:

    > Matt, I know I’m not supposed to but I throw most of my plastics into the grey bin and so far, no-one has told me to stop.

    I was doing this too for exactly the same reason until recently, when two people in rapid succession told me not to because there’s the risk of a whole load of recycling being rejected by material that’s not meant to be in there.

    Of course these two people have simply heard the council mantra and it will depend on how the recycled waste is sorted; mechanic vs manual labour techniques/costs.

    There should be a market for the different types of plastics and more effort made to accept them. Plastics are here to stay so a system is needed. I can’t see plant based packaging making up much on the volumes that petroleum provides because of a huge gap in costs.

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi y’all,

    We have a different model over here, at least in the area where I live. All of the trash for a metropolitan area of over a million goes into one privately owned land fill. We have to pay them, either directly or through taxes, to properly dispose of our trash. Thus, to my mind, the responsibility for recycling said trash lies with the business making the profits from us. While, if the Government was running the process I might feel differently, it’s not so I am not at all inclined to provide free labor for the local waste disposal company.

    On the other hand, recycling isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Consider if you will, what fabulous sources of just about everything todays waste dumps will be for our descendants. With continued improvements in automation and robotics, our land fills will be super mines 20 or 30 years from now.

    the Grit

  4. andrew says:

    yes, shameful! how to pay people to make their duty? in ecologieparis we are tying to make people know that being respectful towards nature is a part of their tasks!

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