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.
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'
Gemma owen jones
Mr L. Phillips