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#279410 - 1st Jan 2009 11:33pm Councils refuse to impose pay-as-you-throw charge

Town halls are snubbing Government plans for 'pay-as-you-throw' rubbish taxes.

They are refusing to impose extra charges on households already suffering from the economic slump.

Ministers want hundreds of councils to sign up to the scheme, allowing them to charge households if they leave out too much non-recyclable waste.

But a survey of 100 local authorities found that not a single one even wanted to take part in an initial trial run.

Many were openly hostile to the idea of hitting residents with bigger bills at a time of recession.

The backlash is the latest example of green taxes slipping down the political agenda as the harsh reality of economic slowdown makes itself felt.

The same study found that many councils are changing to fortnightly rubbish collections - and believe the system is helping to boost recycling levels.

But local authorities admit they are having to stockpile recycled waste because the global economic slump has sent prices for materials such as plastics and aluminium plunging.

The 'pay-as-you-throw' pilot scheme later this year, introduced as part of the Climate Change Act, is supposed to involve up to five English councils. They can decide to reward residents for recycling or charge them for producing too much waste.

Ministers hope the controversial measures will then be rolled out across the entire country.

But many councils expressed grave concerns in the survey, and none said it was applying to take part.

Tory councillor Terry Neville, cabinet member for the environment at Enfield, north London, said: 'The Government is encouraging councils to heap more expense on households as the country is about to enter possibly the worst recession in living memory. It simply beggars belief.

'We will not be asking our residents to fork out more money for something they are already paying for in council tax.'


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#279558 - 2nd Jan 2009 5:53pm Neston council shuns "pay-as-you-throw" trial [Re: ]

Neston council shuns "pay-as-you-throw" trial

NESTON borough council is intending to shun a "pay-as-you-throw" trial for household waste that would see residents rewarded for recycling or charged for producing too much rubbish.

It joins more than 100 other councils in England who said in response to a survey that they were not planning to apply to take part in a pilot of incentive schemes, which forms part of the Climate Change Act.

Many were worried about the impact of bin charges while others believed it would undermine efforts to encourage recycling or would not suit the demographics of their area.

The survey, conducted by the Press Association, found that many councils were embracing fortnightly rubbish collections, and that the system was helping to boost recycling levels.

Councils with alternate week collections had, on average, an almost 10% higher recycling rate than those without such schemes.

The pay-as-you-throw trial allows up to five councils in England to test out such initiatives.

Ellesmere Port and Neston borough council said the initiative would "damage the goodwill that has been built up over the years" with residents who were already participating in their successful recycling scheme.

Huw Irranca-Davies, the junior minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: "We are currently accepting expressions of interest from local authorities to take part in these pilots, which a recent BBC survey suggested the majority of people would support, though it remains the case that it is up to local authorities to do what they think is best for their area.

"Alternate weekly collections increase the amount that we recycle, but they are just one of the ways local authorities can cut the amount sent to landfill."


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