Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bins Bills 'Could Backfire' Many Fear Strategies to Cut Waste and Drive Recycling Could Simply Increase Fly-Tipping

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bins Bills 'Could Backfire' Many Fear Strategies to Cut Waste and Drive Recycling Could Simply Increase Fly-Tipping

Article excerpt

Byline: By William Green Political Editor

PROPOSALS to charge households for rubbish through prepaid refuse sacks or hi-tech wheelie bins could prove unworkable and exacerbate fly-tipping, it was claimed yesterday.

Under proposals from council leaders, residents' bills could rise if they have to buy more refuse sacks, throw a lot of rubbish in wheelie bins fitted with microchips able to weigh waste or be charged according to the size of wheelie bins they use.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, said its proposals were designed to improve recycling and cut the amount of rubbish sent to landfill to avoid pounds 3bn of potential fines.

The LGA insisted its plans would not be a stealth tax to raise extra cash for town halls, saying some households would pay more but others would see council tax cut, and it said a survey showed strong support for such a system.

Its proposals have been submitted to the Government after a consultation on similar proposals in May.

Those plans suggested a pounds 50 allowance per household under a wheelie bin-weighing system of 10p a kilogram - a home producing pounds 20 of rubbish would get a pounds 30 rebate, one throwing out pounds 80 of refuse would pay pounds 30.

But Berwick MP Alan Beith said: "It may more useful to reward people for recycling their rubbish, reusing material and composting than to impose additional charges.

"I would also be very concerned about the possibility of more fly-tipping."

Northumberland County Council said it did not support the Government's "over complex and unworkable" proposals because well-managed more simple and equitable alternative weekly collections could drive recycling and cut waste.

"We would be concerned that this could lead to an increase in fly tipping in Northumberland, which would clearly be undesirable both in terms of environmental damage but also increased clean up costs," a spokesman said. …

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