Ministers are set to announce incentives for councils to revert to weekly food waste collections but will stop short of trying to force them to do so, LGC understands.
A Local Government Association briefing note on the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ waste review said the government was expected to commit itself to a localist approach to waste.
However, the paper said the review “may ‘lean’ on councils to introduce weekly food waste collections, without mandating them in a way which would require the government to provide additional funding under the new burden arrangements”.
LGC understands that this is likely to mean incentives through the local government finance system.
About half of England’s councils empty bins on a fortnightly basis and the government has no power to force councils to adopt weekly bin collections.
But communities secretary Eric Pickles has been outspoken in his opposition to fortnightly bin collections - which he has described as “barmy” - and, despite his avowed localism, has pledged to “kill off” the policy.
In January, local government minister Bob Neill claimed the government would publish new guidance setting out how councils could shift from alternate week bin collections.
However, this was denied by Defra, which holds ultimate responsibility for waste policy in Whitehall. Defra has maintained that it is up to councils to decide how frequently to collect their bins.