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Pay-as-you-throw "not dead yet"

Pay-as-you-throw schemes are not dead in the water yet, despite a lack of applications for the Governments pilots earlier his month.

This was the response from Louise Bowe, Waste & Resources Action Programmehead of local authority communications support, to questions about how local authorities could counter negative press coverage.

Speaking at the MRW conference Engaging the Public, Bowe said: The [PAYT] system is not dead in the water yet. If any local authorities do go forward with the scheme, we will support any services change.

Bowe also compared the national press treatment of the schemes to that of alternate week collections. She said: AWC policies faced similarly strong opposition in the press. Some local authorities have rolled it out smoothly while others have been withdrawn because of local objections.

Communicating with the public early on about proposed changes and following this up with facts and explanations would help to protect against misinformation, she said.

Bowe outlined the next stage of WRAPs national campaign which she said had been influenced by recent negative press coverage. The most recent example of this is the misquoting of former Biffa director Peter Jones, which implied he thought recycling added to global warming.

She said the campaign keep going with recycling, would begin in the spring. It focuses on reminding people to separate recyclable material from residual waste with illustration of a shopping list and reminders written on a hand.

Bowe said the campaign would also work to dispel misinformation that materials are going to landfill and that its not worth recycling. She said recycling rates had continued to rise and the public needed to be praised. We need to get the message across to the public: Youre doing really well, dont give up now, keep going, she added.

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