30 October 2007

Pay-As-You-Throw And The Conservatives

Vote blue, go green ... except when it's a policy that reduces our overall waste.

Pay-as-you-throw policies would go like this (at least this is how it works in Flanders, where they recycle 70-80% of household waste):

- The cost of rubbish collection and disposal is separated out from council tax, and people pay a seperate annual waste fee, say, £56. On top of that, you pay a variable charge based on the weight and volume of waste you leave for collection.

- So, keen recyclers would find that they pay £56 and then £14 for producing very little waste.

- Other households would pay their £56, and then £120 for producing a great deal of waste.

- People were given the chance to buy locks for their bins to stop neighbours dumping their rubbish in them, only 300 out of 40,000 households asked for one.

- As for flytipping, councils in Flanders quickly dealt with illegal dumps and put up warning signs.

Instead, Tory shadow communities secretary Eric Pickles said: "What we should be doing is increasing recycling. We can do that without doing it through a bin tax."

No. We need incentives to encourage less and less consumption, not more and more consumption that gets recycled. That will be driven by incineration and landfill taxes, reuse credits as well as recycling credits, and by increasing our amounts of composted waste.

4 comments:

scott redding said...

Ooops. I tried to approve a comment on this post to be published, and I seem to have deleted it instead. If you could repost it again, it would be appreciated.

scott redding said...

I realised the comment had been emailed to me automatically:

"Brynley:

Not sure I follow the logic here.

Conservatives may be opportunist, but Pay Per Throw is political death for those who trial it.

It is disappointing and a bit baffling to see the Green Party, who have a progressive outlook on many environmental questions, supporting the abandonment of household rubbish collection as a public service.

I am a committed recycler, but would never accept Pay per Throw and, if I therefore found myself in an unholy and unexpected temporary agreement with the Conservatives over household rubbish collections, then so be it."

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