Berkshire

Windsor recycling reward scheme adopted by government

Rubbish bins
Image caption Recycling will be rewarded using a new scheme

A pioneering recycling scheme in Berkshire has been officially launched following a successful pilot.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's scheme has also been hailed as the way forward by the government.

During the pilot scheme residents were rewarded for recycling with points worth up to £135 a year.

The government has also announced it wants to reward recycling rather than charge households for rubbish.

Exceeded expectations

The previous government proposed fitting electronic tags to bins to weigh them, and fine households that threw away too much rubbish, but this idea has now been scrapped.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is now backing the recycling reward scheme pioneered by Windsor and Maidenhead Council.

The authority also uses electronic tags in recycling bins to record the weight of the recycling using equipment in the collection vehicles.

The council says that no personal data is held in the system and residents themselves choose if they want to take part by voluntarily activating their RecycleBank account.

At the launch, more than 60,000 households were invited to join the RecycleBank service.

Households are awarded points for the amount they recycle and these can be redeemed for discounts and offers at more than 100 local and national retail outlets, restaurants and leisure facilities, or donated to local schools.

During the trial period, 70% of eligible households activated their rewards accounts.

Recycling from those involved increased by at least 35%, the council said.

Councillor Liam Maxwell said: "We believe that incentives not penalties are the best way of encouraging every resident to recycle more, and more frequently.

"This reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill and brings economic benefits for our local businesses in these difficult times."

The roll-out will be conducted in phases and should include the entire borough, including Ascot, by early next year.

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