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Pickles’ latest recycling fund slammed as ‘inappropriate’

The community secretary’s latest funding allocation for council incentive schemes has been described as “inappropriate” by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).

Eric Pickles recently announced that the Department for Communities and Local Government will grant £5m for recycling reward activities, but only to those councils that operate weekly residual waste collections.

Steve Lee CIWM

CIWM chief executive Steve Lee, left, welcomed the additional funding, but said that it should not be used to force councils into changing the frequency of their residual waste collection services.

He noted that most of England’s top performing local authorities have been running fortnightly collections for a number of years with good resident satisfaction ratings and significant improvements in recycling and landfill diversion.

“Publicly vilifying these councils and jeopardising the householder participation and recycling rates they have achieved is inappropriate, especially when viewed against the backdrop of ongoing local government budget cuts and growing concern that the UK may fail to meet the EU 50% recycling target in 2020,” said Lee.

The funding allocation was the latest push from the community secretary to promote weekly collections.

It is a fraction of the £250m offered in Pickles’ Weekly Collection Support Scheme which was intended to persuade councils to switch back to weekly residual waste collections. But as MRW exclusively reported at the time, only one local authority used the money for that purpose.

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