'Bin tax' plans to be scrappedTax on rubbish out, 'rewards' for recycling in?

07 June 2010


Plans to impose a tax on how much rubbish households throw away have been scrapped, the government has announced.

Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles said today: 'Rather than helping the environment, bin taxes would have fuelled fly-tipping and backyard burning. It's time to rein in the bin bullies and work with local people to build greener and cleaner communities.'

Proposals to allow councils to charge homes for rubbish collection or 'pay-as-you-throw' schemes penalising households for not cutting their waste were originally put forward by the previous Labour government.

Rewarding recycling

The move to scrap the plans was confirmed as ministers visited Windsor and Maidenhead, where a trial to reward households who recycle with shopping vouchers worth up to £130 a year is being rolled out across the borough - a scheme supported by the coalition government.

We've been following Windsor and Maidenhead's trial of the Recyclebank scheme since June 2009. Latest reports suggest the council is expecting a 35% uplift in recycling rates.

The scheme uses wheelie bins fitted with identification chips to track household recycling levels. Recycling collectors weigh and record the amount of material collected from each house, and award RecycleBank 'points' - redeemable at a variety of local shops and businesses such as Marks and Spencer - based on how much material has been recycled and how regularly homes participate in the scheme.

When we asked more than 2,500 Which? members in November 2009 whether shopping voucher rewards would entice them to recycle more, a fifth said it would - while 78% thought they would recycle the same amount.

More recycling tips

Our essential recycling guide will equip you with practical recycling tips.You can also consult the Which? product recycling tool to find out where and how to recycle a range of electrical and household products including TVs, DVD players, washing machines and fridge freezers.

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