Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles has announced a new £5 million fund to help families recycle, without facing the threat of unfair bin fines or cuts to their bin collection services.
The extra funding will help councils with weekly collections increase their recycling rates, by giving incentives – such as shopping vouchers and loyalty rewards – to households who recycle. This follows a commitment in the Coalition Agreement to help support such schemes.
The scheme builds on the success of around 40 projects already supported by government money to trial and pilot reward programmes. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s reward scheme was the first of its kind in this country when it launched in 2010. The council lets thousands of residents earn points for recycling, which they can then spend at local shops. This has been a big success and boosted recycling in the borough by more than a third (35%).
Eric 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.
“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.”
At a meeting of the Council’s Community Safety, Environment and Residents Services Policy and Accountability Committee on September 2nd I proposed that Hammersmith and Fulham Council should apply to this fund to establish a recycling incentive scheme.
I was delighted this morning to receive confirmation from Lyn Carpenter, Director of Environment, Leisure and Residents Services that the council will be making an application to take part.
You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.