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Council tax discounts may the way to encourage people to recycle their rubbish, BBC Radio Four's Today programme he...
Council tax discounts may the way to encourage people to recycle their rubbish, BBC Radio Four's Today programme heard this morning.

After yesterday's report on rubbish collection in Scunthorpe, the programme had received a flood of complaints from listeners around the country, saying their local authorities' recycling policies created extra work for householders and didn't remove enough rubbish.

Paul Beston, chairman of the Local Government Association's environment board, told the programme people had to understand that recycling was the only way forward, as landfill sites would be full up within a few years.

Until now, people have assumed they paid their council tax and that dealing with rubbish was solely the local authority's responsibility. 'But what we've always paid for is the luxury of taking everything away and simply dumping it in a hole in the ground,' Mr Beston said.

Sorting and recycling is a more expensive option and has to be paid for, he said. 'We favour giving people the choice of doing their own sorting and their own recycling or actually paying someone else to do it for them.' This could either be by way of penalties for not recycling, or discounts for those who do sort their waste.

'We have to find ways of encouraging people to recycle or making it less attractive not to recycle,' Mr Beston said. 'The LGA is lobbying government hard for extra powers so that council tax could actually be reduced for those who do recycle'.

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