Guidance on the much debated local authority waste reduction pilots has been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Environment Minister Joan Ruddock explained: We want to share our thinking about how waste incentive schemes could work and hear the views of others.
The pilots are part of the Climate Change Bill which is currently going through Parliament. Under the plan five local authorities will trial incentivised waste reduction schemes and the first pilots could start from April 2009. The deadline for scheme proposals will be eight weeks after the Climate Change Bill receives Royal Assent.
Ruddock said: I encourage everyone with an interest to contribute to the informal consultation. This is draft guidance at this stage and we will look to revise and improve it in the light of the comments we receive."
She explained that local authorities would choose which pilot scheme would be most appropriate for their circumstances whatever their ideas may be.
Schemes can be based on carrots or sticks, charging or rewarding people for bad or good waste behaviour respectively. However, they must be revenue neutral, so money raised through charges must be paid back as rewards.
But, Ruddock added: There are some important principles to observe, for example the need to have a good recycling service in place already, and the need to take account of vulnerable households.
She added that no decision had yet been made about rolling out waste incentive powers more widely.
The guidance will be published on the Defra website shortly.
Image: Environment Minister Joan Ruddock