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Ealing to trial community-based recycling incentives

A community-based recycling incentive scheme is set to be introduced in the London Borough of Ealing following approval by the council’s cabinet.

The pilot scheme will see people living in each borough’s 23 electoral wards competing against each other to win cash rewards for their local area.

There will be four prizes in total. The ward with the highest proportion of households recycling, and the three showing greatest improvement in recycling rates, will each win £20,000.

Ealing council claims this pilot scheme is the first of its kind to be introduced in the capital, as it targets the whole community rather than just rewarding individual recycling performance.

Unlike other highly-publicised recycling incentive schemes such as Recyclebank, the Ealing scheme will not measure recycling performance based on the weight of recycling bins but will use nationally recognised Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) methodology to carry out recycling participation surveys in each ward.

Ealing council cabinet member for transport and environment Bassam Mahfouz said: “It’s crucial that we drive up recycling rates and send less waste to landfill. As a borough we already recycle around 40% of waste but we need to do even more.

“It’s vital for the environment and will also save the council money by stopping us from paying increasing fees to send rubbish to landfill. We want our communities to work with us to help reduce these costs, so it’s only right to reward our residents for helping us to do this.”

Each ward in Ealing already receives its own £40,000 annual budget so the winning wards will see this increased to £60,000, with residents being able to choose which local projects to spend the cash on.

Last month Local Green Points also announced that they were exploring the idea of community-based incentive schemes in the London boroughs but co-founder Graham Simmonds told MRW that it is not involved in the Ealing pilot scheme.

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