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New community recycling incentive scheme

A recycling incentive scheme, which rewards neighbourhoods for reducing waste, has been launched in the London borough of Bexley.

The first phase of the incentive scheme involves residents in more than 2,000 flats in East Thamesmead with potential for the system to expand to 15,000 flats across Bexley in 2012.

The system, run by Local Green Points, works by measuring the amount of waste a neighbourhood reduces, alongside the amount it recycles. Green points are allocated on these results and households signed up to the scheme share the rewards. Points can be redeemed for a range of products and days out or can be donated to charity.

Flats recycling is seen by the waste industry as being difficult to tackle because of the layout of the properties. The scheme received funding from the London Waste and Recycling Board’s Flat Recycling Programme and Recycle for London to support the scheme in partnership with Gallions Housing Association.

Local Green Points partner Graham Simmonds said: “I spent some time in Thamesmead talking to residents about the scheme, and their enthusiasm for it was really encouraging. Of course, the ultimate test will be the reduction in waste that’s sent for disposal and the increase in recycling but the initial positive reactions from residents and the local community is a great start.”

Bexley is the first UK council to use Local Green Points’ system.

Bexley’s cabinet member for the environment Cllr Gareth Bacon said: “We’re proud that Bexley is already London’s top borough for recycling with a recycling rate over 50%. However, we recognise that we can still do more and see the London Green Points scheme as an excellent way to encourage even more people to recycle more waste.”

Television and radio presenter Neil Fox helped launch the scheme along with pupils from St John Fisher Catholic Primary School and representatives of the 30 local retail partners already supporting the scheme.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I hope this scheme is successful in engaging more flat dwellers in recycling. The challenges will be in maintaining engagement once the initial impact wears off and the quick wins are taken and building a sense of community ownership to compensate for the limited link between individual effort and reward.

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