Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pay as you throw

Councils begin 'pay as you throw'

Councils face tough decisions over what to do with waste
More than 30 councils are fitting microchips to wheelie bins to work out how much households are throwing away.
It is the latest attempt to encourage more recycling to curb the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfill.
The chips would weigh the contents of the bin to within 500 grams.
The Local Government Association is expected later this year to propose councils be given greater powers to change the way people remove rubbish.
Many councils are in favour of "pay as you throw" and are already anticipating the changes, according to the information uncovered by BBC One's Real Story.
But Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA's Environment Board, appreciates that certain councils have taken the wrong approach.
"Any council that's issued chipped bins and hasn't informed their residents I would say has scored something of an own goal. We need to work with the public and it's sad that seemingly some councils didn't," he said.
Chipped bins could record the date, time, bin identification serial number and the weight and the contents of the container.
Once weighed, a bill for the waste would then be sent to the owner.
Tough fines
With an estimated nine years of land fill space left, councils up and down the UK are faced with a tough decision about what to do with Britain's waste.
Simply burying rubbish in the ground is no longer an option.

Local authorities now face tough fines from the Government on what they do bury, to force greater levels of recycling.
Each council has introduced different recycling systems to encourage householders to separate out their waste and put less in their main bin.
But in some areas recycling is now compulsory, meaning if people do not comply, rubbish will not be cleared away and they could face prosecution.
Alternate weekly collections are one way of tackling the problem but they have not been warmly welcomed by residents.
Claire Harvey, from New Holland in North Lincolnshire, faces a weekly struggle to get rid of her waste.
"The council only actually recycle newspapers, glass and tins," she said.
"The plastics and the cardboard you have to dispose of yourself. They have provided a system, but they need to collect the domestic waste more frequently."
Paul Bettison believes that if people want to keep weekly collections of all household waste they will have to face the reality that it is going to cost them.
"You are paying for a collection every week and that is what you are still getting," he said.
"And now if you wanted us to collect both bins each week that would mean doubling the number of collections and that's fine and actually that would add approximately £100 a year to your council tax.
"There may be people who wouldn't want to pay that."
Real Story's report on rubbish is on BBC One on Wednesday 4 October at 1930 BST.

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