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LGA hits out at leaked proposals for blanket waste charging - COMMENT UPDATE

Council leaders are against proposals outlined in a leaked Number 10 dossier for a blanket pay-as-you-throw system for charging residents for the disposal of their household waste.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales, said councils should be able to choose whether to implement such a scheme, not have it imposed on them.

LGA chairman Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said: The proposed blanket introduction of waste charging is unhelpful and unnecessary. Councils, not central government, should have save-as-you-throw powers, but it is vital that any authority thinking of introducing save-as-you-throw should first make sure there will be no overall increase in council tax, it has public support and measures are in place to prevent fly-tipping.

An LGA survey last year found that two out of three people polled would back the introduction of waste charging schemes and over three-quarters thought recycling should be compulsory. But the LGA feels a council by council approach is needed rather than a universal scheme.

Only councils, working on the ground with local people, have the knowledge and expertise to decide how best to encourage residents to understand the consequence of us throwing away more each year and to take more responsibility for their rubbish. The one size fits all approach put forward by Number 10 flies in the face of devolution and giving local people the chance to have their say on the issues that will affect them, Bruce-Lockhart added.

In January the LGA launched its War on Waste campaign in an attempt to curb Britains increasing amount of rubbish. It said British households were landfilling 27 million tonnes of waste each year seven tonnes more than any other country in Europe.
22/02/07: Government needs to significantly improve the opportunities for recycling before we reach this stage. Signficant quantities of potentially recyclable material and waste with a thermal energy content are still beign sent to landfill. Only after we have dealt with these issues should waste charging become an issue.
Posted by Nigel Carter, En-Venture

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