Two London boroughs will test a pioneering incentive scheme in an attempt to boost recycling rates within estates. Hammersmith and Fulham and Lambeth Councils have secured £119,000 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Both councils will use the funding to see if offering community prizes, such as playground improvements or the decoration of communal areas, will increase recycling rates on estates. A competition in each borough will be held to see which of the selected estates can increase its recycling rate the most. The winning estates will receive a share of £40,000 for upgrading their estates, depending on how much they improve.
Residents in participating estates will be able to monitor how well they are doing through 'recycling thermometers' that will be erected on site.
Defra funding will go to more than 50 local authority pilot schemes around the UK, to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of household incentives on reducing household waste, and increasing reuse and recycling.
Lambeth council executive director for environment and culture Robert Overall said: "The council is committed to encouraging residents to recycle waste, particularly on estates. Financial incentives such as this, will hopefully inspire households to think about the benefits recycling brings, so that it becomes standard practice."