The RecycleBank scheme helps to incentivise people to recycle rather than bully them into doing it, according to Shadow Environment Secretary Nick Herbert.
Since the rewards for recycling scheme launched in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in June, residents have been able to earn vouchers for shops such as Marks & Spencer according to how much by weight they recycle.
RecycleBank runs the scheme in partnership with waste firm Veolia Environmental Services.
Last week, Herbert visited the borough to learn more about the recycling scheme. Speaking to MRW Herbert expressed a great deal of interest in the RecycleBank system.
He said: This scheme is pushing people to do the right thing and encouraging people to recycle. It is a good way to build public support and drive recycling rates.
He likened the scheme to policies surrounding the debates over diesel and unleaded petrol and said if you reward people to do the right thing that is the best approach.
Herbert also likened Labour Party policies on waste as Stalinist because he believed they were dictating to the public how to recycle rather than incentivising them to.
Asked whether the Conservatives had plans to roll the system out to other local authorities, Herbert said the party believed in devolving power to local councils where they made their own choice on what systems to choose and did not believe in a national directive. He explained that Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead was an innovative council with an inventive approach because it rewards families for doing the right thing.
Our aim is to be driving up recycling rates because Britain is still sending too much waste to landfill and far too much commercial and industrial waste to landfill. We have got to do better and catch up with our peer group countries that use waste as an opportunity to create energy and recover materials.
He also said that the Conservatives hope to move towards a zero waste society and reduce waste.
Veolia Environmental Services deputy chief executive Paul Levett said: The key to higher recycling rates is to tap into reluctant recyclers by making it easier and more rewarding for them to get involved. It is also clear that the simplicity of mixed recycling collections encourages higher participation as the system makes it easier for users to know what items can and cannot be recycled and where to put them. The technology is proven and fit for purpose there really are no barriers to improved recycling rates.