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Lyons report calls for variable charging for waste

Local authorities should be given new powers to allow variable charging for waste says Sir Michael Lyons.

In his final report into local government, he recommends that the Government should take new powers to allow local authorities to charge for domestic waste collection, developed in close consultation with residents and other key stakeholders.

The report suggests that any variable charging scheme must address local needs.

Lyons writes in the report: I am clear that charging should be a matter for local choice, and am not proposing that it be rolled out nationally or in a way that does not reflect community preferences. However if tailored to local circumstances, variable charging might be a means by which incentives can be created to reduce waste and thereby reduce costs and could help to ensure that the remaining costs are shared in a way that may be perceived as fair.

He adds that variable charging could have a significant role to play in reducing the waste we produce and recycling more of that waste.

But he warns that any scheme that is introduced must be well thought out as poorly implemented approaches could lead to the people who can least afford high waste costs being penalised as well as issues with fly-tipping and waste tourism.

These measures are part of his short term recommendations that he believes could be introduced quite quickly.

It is now up to the Government to decide whether to implement his recommendations.

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