A financial incentive scheme to boost local authority (LA) household recycling and reduce waste to landfill has been agreed by the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP).
Under the scheme, the countys five waste collection authorities (WCA) will be given performance based bonuses or penalties depending on the amount of waste collected for landfill disposal.
The scheme will supplement the existing recycling credits scheme used in the county. OWP coordinator Wayne Lewis explained the reasons behind introducing an extra scheme: Recycling credits are payable only on what you recycle, so we wanted to bring in a financial incentive to reduce waste sent to landfill.
The new scheme provides a stronger incentive for WCAs to increase recycling and reduce waste going to landfill. As well as rewarding good performance it also means that those WCA collecting high amounts of residual waste will through the penalty system, contribute towards the cost of waste disposal.
WCAs will continue to receive a recycling credit for every tonne of waste recycled or composted. But when the new bonus scheme begins in April 2009, they will be able to get additional bonuses. The OWP hopes this will further reduce waste to landfill and reduce future liabilities under the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme.
Annual residual waste targets have been agreed by the OWP up until 2020 and each WCA will get the same residual waste allocation per household per year. If a WCA beats this target it gets a bonus payment for each tonne it is below. But if targets are not met, the WCA will pay a penalty for each tonne it is above. The bonuses are half the value of a recycling credit.
LAs in the OWP include Cherwell District council, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council.