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LARAC: Pay-as-you-throw schemes are a "valuable tool in a tool box"

Pay-as-you-throw schemes are a valuable tool in a tool box and can help to reduce waste, according to the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee.

The Daily Express
and The Daily Telegraph reported (24 May) on a paper commissioned by the Government and published by the Town & Country Planning Association called Towards zero waste: eco-towns waste management worksheet. It was published last November and stated that eco-towns could consider charging for waste collections by weight/waste-type/frequency, so that those who prevent waste and recycle the most pay the least.

LARAC chair Joy Blizzard told MRW: The LARAC position has always supported local authorities should they choose to implement pay-as-you-throw schemes if they see fit. Research has shown in other countries that pay-as-you-throw schemes work well and reduce overall waste arisings.

It would be interesting to see if more councils will bite the bullet and go for it. It is a valuable tool in a tool box which is not used a great deal. But at the end of the day it is the local authorities decision.

Last year Defra appealed to local authorities to participate in its pilot trials for pay-as-you-throw schemes but so far no council has signed up.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: It is up to local authorities to decide policy on waste collection on what best meets their local needs. It is not for Whitehall to dictate to them.

According to Defras guidance on pay-as-you throw schemes, schemes could be rebate-only offering rewards to those who produce the least waste, or they could be charge-and-rebate based, levying charges on those producing the most waste and rewarding those who generate the least. Schemes must be revenue-neutral, so any money raised through charges should be paid back as rewards. Local authorities would not be able to keep any of the revenue.

Taxpayers Alliance campaign director Mark Wallace said: A lot of people will be horrified at the suggestion. Despite paying for council tax; people will have extra charges forced on them for a fundamental collection which are bin collections.

All the evidence suggests that they do not work well and encourage fly-tipping and backyard burning. The best method to use is incentives.


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