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29 October 2014

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You are in: Shropshire > Nature > Environment > Go ahead for pay-as-you-throw

Dealing with waste at Battlefield

Dealing with waste at Battlefield

Go ahead for pay-as-you-throw

Could you soon be paying for what you throw in your bin? Government is giving local councils the chance to charge households for exactly what they throw in their bins.

"What we should be doing is designing a system where people can get discounts for recycling more as a household."

MP David Wright

Telford's Labour MP David Wright believes there are 'major problems' with a pay-as-you-throw system of waste management. His response comes after the government offered local councils in England the power to introduce pilot schemes to charge households depending on the amount of rubbish they throw away.

Although no Shropshire council has yet declared an interest in piloting the system, MP David Wright branded the approach 'difficult... to police' and suggested that it could lead to more fly-tipping: "My concern is would this mean that people would... stick their rubbish in my bin."

David Wright was a member of the Communities and Local Government committee that on 16 July 2007 suggested government plans for pay-a-you-throw charging were 'half-hearted' and likely to fail.

Meanwhile, the UK is under immense pressure to meet a 1999 EU directive on waste that demands the country reduce the amount of biodegradable waste heading to landfill from 18.1m tonnes in 2003/4 to 13.7m tonnes by 2010. Failure to do so could lead to annual fines of up to £180m.

David Wright believes that local councils should be rewarding good behaviour, rather than trying to enforce fines for bad behaviour: "What we should be doing is designing a system where people can get discounts for recycling more as a household. So we shoud try to turn the system round in my view and the more we recycle, the more benefit you get out of the council tax system."

As well as fly-tipping, opponents of the pay-as-you-throw scheme believe that householders will view it as another form of taxation. The Communities and Local Government committee's report states: 'We cannot believe that giving some households £20 or £30 a year will remotely outweigh the negative psychological impact of making other households pay more for a service they believe they already pay for through taxation.'

last updated: 02/11/07

Have Your Say

Would you be prepared to pay for the rubbish you throw away? Do you think this is the answer to the UK's landfill 'crisis'

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

John Costigane
Zero Waste enthusiasts have very little waste, making this a non-issue. Encouraging change, for the rest, is the only way forward.

daniel clarke
i think this may be the way forward, but i also think this may be taking it a bit far, due to people struggling to pay bills as it is.

Chris Jenkins
How are people living in flats or terraces supposed to control what is put in their bins ?

Gemma owen jones
Go a head with charges but u will have to 1/2 all our council tax bills..!!!

In my opinion it will lead to more fly tipping, the countryside will become a mess. Also what's to stop me putting my rubbish in my neighbour's bin (or he in mine)? How will it work for blocks of flats? I thought we already DID pay for having our rubbish colleted - that thing called Coucil Tax!!

Mr L. Phillips
We already pay to have our rubbish collected,it's called council tax.

make re-cycling schemes more understandable. i cant get into my back garden for bins and boxes and the bumph issued by the council needs an a level to sort out. radbrook green and fed up.

How much more can they screw out of us ? Paying Council tax for rubbish collection and street cleaning is bad enough, our public litter bins are already overflowing onto the pavements thanks to the flytippers, the streets are a mess. We recycle as much as we can, where is the money saved being spent ? To charge us for the contents of our bins will make matters worse, people will be out in the wee small hours moving their rubbish into their neighbours bins, rubbish will be dumped in the street and the problem will escalate. This is a project that is doomed to failure. I for one will not pay for it !

Di Hoyle
No paying isnt the answer, recyling more is. Give people more ideas and help until they accept it and dont fight it. Why carnt they recycle more at the local skips. people drive there with item too good to skip but no where else to put them other than the household skip which crushes these items. Why its such a waste, they could be donated to charity shops. All it would take is a spare skip and a notice.I am sure the charity shops would be more than happy with this as would the landfil sites!

Matthew Lloyd
We seem to do very well in terms of how we sort our waste now - the only items in our black bins are plastic ones which cannot be taken to our plastic bottle bank.Now it's the manufacturers and supermarkets' turn - if the rubbish didn't come into our homes in the first place we wouldn't be callled upon to put less in the bin.Shop locally, support your local producers and EAT WHAT IS IN SEASON, and watch how little rubbish ends up in the bin.We all used to live like this, but now we have become lazy and out of touch with our environment.Tax the producer - not the consumer.

Alan H
Penalising anyone for producing waste that is a result of the consumer society created by capitalist free enterpriseconsumerisim will not work.Rewarding individuals for good re-cycling practise has a chance. If a practise or law offends our sense of fairness eventually penalty systems will fail. Our money spent in our name will be wasted. In south shrop. we are on the way with facilities just add the cherry of rewards.

Pat Armstrong
'Pay as you throw' will undoubtedly lead to fly tipping - and as I seem to recall, on Have I Got News for You, just recently Julia Hartley Brewer said she would dump her rubbish in other people's bins if such a scheme was introduced. If people are willing to stand up on national television and admit to such, how many more ordinary people really will actually do it! It will be impossible to police, and lead to massive administrative and court battles not to mention degradation of our lovely countryside - for the love of God someone, see sense, and reward those who recycle - which, if necessary could be done.Incidentally, don't we already pay for the rubbish we throw away in council taxes? For those of us who have been 'green' for years/decades, we have seen little reward!

Roger Wain
Whats all the panic about Birmingham have been doing it for years!

John Cherrington
There is no way people should have to pay surely the government national and local get enough from the council tax and other hidden taxes the people should revolt.......

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