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Defra hits back at Sunday Telegraph pay-as-you-throw claims

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has hit back at a Sunday Telegraph report that claims that binmen are being issued with computers to build rubbish profiles on households to pave the way for the introduction of pay-as-you-throw.

A Defra spokeswoman said: There is absolutely no suggestion that local authorities using microchips to help them deal with waste are a back door to introducing pay-as-you-throw, or financial incentives schemes.  As we have always said, it is right that local authorities make decisions on how to manage their waste and any such decision on either financial incentives or microchips would be a matter for local authorities its not for Whitehall to tell them how to deal with their waste.

The Sunday Telegraph report was published on 22 February and it claims that waste collection crews were issued with devices featuring Global Positioning System technology that allow councils to store a history of information about individual rubbish collections, including whether householders are failing to recycle properly.

The report also claimed that 14 councils were using the GPS system.

Under the Governments pay-as-you-throw scheme plans, councils were offered the chance to give rebates to households producing the least waste or impose penalties of up to £50 on those who failed to recycle.

A Defra spokeswoman said no local authorities had come forward for trials but the powers to introduce pay-as-you-throw was still in the Climate Change Act and local authorities are still welcome to talk to Defra.

An LGA spokesman added: "In order to keep council tax down, councils are using many different techniques to stop rubbish ending up in landfill. When an estimated £1.8 billion of council taxpayer's money is going to be spent on landfill taxes between 2008 and 2011, it's vital that councils find ways to stop waste ending up in the ground.


 

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