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Is Pickles' scheme a waste of money?


A £5m scheme to reward families who recycle with shopping vouchers is a “waste of taxpayers’ money” that will do “very little” to incentivise more householders to sort their waste, according to industry pundits, writes freelance writer, David Burrows.

A £5m scheme to reward families who recycle with shopping vouchers is a “waste of taxpayers’ money” that will do “very little” to incentivise more householders to sort their waste, according to industry pundits. 

The fact money is available only to councils offering weekly collections has also raised concerns that politics, rather than sound science and value for money, are at the heart of the decision.

In its 2010 manifesto, the coalition government committed itself to “encourage councils to pay people to recycle”. Eric Pickles, the local government secretary who has staked his political credibility and taxpayers’ money in his fierce lobbying for a switch back to weekly collections, is adamant the new funding is money well spent for his department. 

Research has yet to prove that such incentives work. “Incentives may have a role to play for certain authorities or specific target groups, but the evidence on incentives and their impact on participation historically has been far from conclusive,” said Adam Read, practice director for waste management at consultants Ricardo-AEA.

Source: recyclingwasteworld.co.uk

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