A council scheme in Windsor and Maidenhead which rewards homes that recycle with vouchers and discounts will be extended to cover drinks cans, plastic and glass bottles, jars and paper from today.
Nearly 4,000 local residents participating in the trial scheme – the first of its kind in the UK – have been given an extra wheelie bin fitted with an identification chip to collect and measure the materials.
The recycling will be ‘co-mingled’, meaning there will be no need for households to sort and separate different materials. Residents will be able earn a maximum of £135 a year in vouchers and discounts.
US firm RecycleBank is behind the scheme. Recycling collectors weigh and record the amount of material collected from each house and award RecycleBank ‘points’ – redeemable as vouchers at local shops and businesses including Marks and Spencer, Coffee Republic, Subway and Vision Express – based on how much has been recycled and how regularly homes participate in the scheme.
As Which? reported earlier this year, the first trial in Windsor and Maidenhead started in June, awarding homes points in exchange for green waste recycling. If successful, the scheme will be extended to the rest of the borough – but isn’t a forerunner to a penalty scheme.
The council says it ‘believes in rewarding residents for recycling, not imposing penalties’. It has ruled out introducing ‘pay-as-you-throw’ or any similar schemes.
The trial in Windsor and Maidenhead is being closely watched by other local authorities considering using rewards as an incentive for people to recycle more, including London mayor Boris Johnson, who is planning a pilot of the RecycleBank scheme across several London boroughs in 2010.
Consult our essential recycling guide for practical recycling information and a recycling video guide that shows you how to recycle different materials.
Visit Which?’s greener living section for more on green and environmental issues.
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