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Refuse payment trial put on hold

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The Government has put its bin-charging plans on hold after not a single council expressed an interest in taking part in trials.

The Climate Change Act 2008 contained provisions allowing up to five councils to take part in 'pay-as-you-throw' schemes which would reward those who threw out the least and charged those who threw out the most, in a bid to boost recycling rates.

But environment minister Jane Kennedy has revealed no council had responded by the deadline.

“It is up to councils as to whether they want to use these powers,” she said.

"No local authorities have expressed an interest in piloting a scheme at this time.

The Local Government Association, which has lobbied the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to allow councils to introduce waste incentive schemes, claimed it was “unsurprised” by the lack of interest.

Unsurprising

“It is unsurprising that no councils have come forward to take part in the pilots given that DEFRA has not published its rules for how they must operate,” said LGA vice-chairman Richard Kemp (Lib Dem).

“In the absence of any steer ahead of the deadline, local authorities were understandably reluctant.

“Evidence from America and the continent has shown these schemes can boost recycling and reward those households that do their bit for the environment.”

Cllr Susan Hall (Con), head of environment services at Harrow LBC, said: "The best way forward is to take residents with you by encouragement to recycle, not by handing out spot fines or extra bills.”

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