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Pickles announces recycling rewards scheme

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced a new £5m fund to boost incentive schemes where councils offer weekly household collections.

The cash will support local authorities with incentive schemes such as shopping vouchers.

Pickles said: “It is a myth that fortnightly bin collections or unfair bin fines are needed to increase recycling. Rewards for recycling show how working with families can deliver environmental benefits without the draconian approach of punishing people and leaving out smelly rubbish.

“This Government is protecting the local environment by supporting recycling, as well as championing weekly collections which protect local amenity and public health. Councils with fortnightly collections will not receive government funding and are short-changing their residents with an inferior service.”

The fund marks a return to Pickles’ offensive against a general move by councils away from weekly arrangements - and familiar rhetoric: “There is an alternative to the town hall bin barons who pushed through fortnightly bin collections and are now trying to move to monthly bin collections by stealth.”

The new fund is a fraction of that of the £250m on offer in Pickles’ Weekly Collection Support Scheme which was intended to persuade councils to switch back - as MRW exclusively reported at the time only one local authority used the money for that purpose.

Bids to the news fund close on 7 November. Successful bidders will be announced in January 2015 and the money will be available from April 2015.

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