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Defra to introduce pilot pay-as-you-throw bin taxes - COMMENT UPDATE

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that it will be allowing local authorities to pilot pay-as-you-throw bin taxes. Defra published a report on the Climate Change Bill setting out plans to allow local authorities to charge bin taxes. We are still developing the plans and are looking to the Climate Change Bill to take it forward. The pilot schemes will allow a number of local authorities to try it out. The idea of the pay-as-you throw scheme originally came from local authorities, said a Defra spokeswoman. Under the scheme, households will be charged either for each sack bin of non-recyclable rubbish or by the weight of rubbish they put out. Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Chris Huhne MP said: We still have one of the worst recycling records in Europe, and cannot go on filling holes in the ground with rubbish that can contaminate water tables and create high-powered greenhouse gases like methane. Anything which gives local councils more power to decide what is appropriate in their area makes sense, as far too many decisions are centralised in Whitehall. If councils want to experiment with a scheme that offers rebates to those who recycle more, the Government should not stand in the way. However, Conservative Party local government spokesman Eric Pickles has dismissed the tax saying that bin taxes will harm the local environment by leading to a surge in fly-tipping and back yard burning. Comment: "Where I live the District Council does not collect as recyclables all the things it could do, with the result that some of these will have to go in the non-recyclable bin. Why should I pay again for their failure to recycle more?" Posted by Graham Cooper from GE Cooper, 01/11/07 Comment: "With reference to this NEW scheme, as local authorities currently get substantial revenue from householders on their monthly local taxes, and have not reduced that amount to reflect that they are now only providing half the service as they were with the new fortnightly collections, in such as the tax payer is still picking up the same monthly cost while the local authority have reduced the service by half, will this new scheme mean that the local authority charge for the trial sites mean that householders will not be paying their local authority any charges but now only on a amount per bag. As if they introduce this scheme and then levy further cost on the householder as an addition to the monthly charges? We have to ask ourselves when are the conservative party taking up their place in number 10 Downing Street, Im of the view that yes we can go this way but you will need to give the householders a reprieve on the community charge front. All we are going to be doing is driving a substantial waste mountain into the countryside and local beauty spots at the dead of night. We have to provide the householder an incentive to save waste leaving the house, and also the flow of money out of their house, You must admit that there will also be a increase in back yard burning as well, give the householders something back and they will be on your side." Posted by Dino Dash, 01/11/07 Comment: This is a complete red herring. Even councils themselves admit that it only takes around 50 pence per week per houshold on average to collect rubbish. On that basis unless the "penalty" is out of all proportion to reality then it will cost more to process than the councils can realistically justify. Making it an obviously calculated stealth tax to increase the burden on the housholder by other routes than raising the council tax. If the plan is to force more recycling then how will this do it at all? In my own case we recycle all bottles, plastics, tins, papers, cardboard, garden clippings all carefully separated with recovery boxes taking up a major part of the garden patio. Quite often it is "remixed" up by having the wrong vehicle in the wrong place to collect, strewn all over the road and left if a mistake is made. In one case a neighbour had the papers left - can't collect them 'cause they are in a black bag was the excuse. But you are there to empty the bag into the vehicle and leave it for re-use surely? No can't do that its in the the wrong colour bag missus!. We are forced to use copious amounts of own water which we also have to pay for to clean the tins etc. We get one bin emptied a fortnight which by then is full of basic rubbish which would otherwise be a health risk to handle further. The will be the equivalent of moving back to people having to brick up windows because of a tax on glass. Posted by Les Whitehouse, Environmental Engineer and Safety Officer 02/11/07 Comment: I work with a company that recycles plastic,cardboard,paper we have been trying to work with the local councils for recycling there hard plastics one council said I would rather landfill the wheelie bins instead of spending man power on it. The worst was we said we would take them for free so they have no costs to them all they had to do is load the lorry from top to bottom. If this is the attitude of one council what hope do we have to recycle and meet the targets. Posted by Carol, 02/11/07

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