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Pickles looking at delivering financial incentive for weekly collections

The Government is looking at providing financial incentives to help local authorities implement weekly waste collections, communities secretary Eric Pickles has revealed.

In an exchange in the Commons on 20 June, Pickles was challenged by Labour MP Caroline Flint over a pledge in 2008 that “under a Conservative Government, the weekly bin collection will be back”.

Pickles told the Commons: “We are looking at delivering weekly collections and a financial incentive for providing them, but we had to start from the basis of dealing with the legacy—we had first to remove the Audit Commission and the instructions in WRAP suggesting that it was best to close these things [weekly waste collections] down after local elections, and we had to ensure that the fortnightly collections, which she advocated so strongly when she was Minister for Housing, were also stopped.”

He added that “we are removing the incentives for fortnightly collections, and looking at incentives for weekly collections”.

The comments follow widespread rumours in the national press that the Government’s review of waste policy would contain a £100m funding pot to incentivise local authorities to return to weekly waste collections.

The waste review stated that households had a “reasonable expectation” for weekly waste collections, particularly for “smelly waste” and announced that the Government had “moved to remove Audit Commission guidance and inspections which marked down councils who do not adopt fortnightly rubbish collections”.

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