UK Conservative Party Gets Grouchy Over 'Pay-As-You-Throw'

A while back we brought news of a report that discussed the possibility of ‘pay-as-you-throw’ schemes being introduced in the UK. Essentially, ‘pay-as-you-throw’ is a term used for systems that charge households for trash collection according to the amount they throw out. Such schemes are already in place in a number of other European countries, where recycling rates have increased considerably as a result. The logic of charging wasteful households more than thrifty ones makes sense on paper at lease, but would the public support such a move? If the results of a recently published survey are anything to go by, then it appears they would. Apparently as many as two-thirds of Britain’s households would be in favour of wasteful households being charged more, while less wasteful ones would be offered a council tax rebate. The Conservative Party, the main parliamentary opposition, are not convinced however that such schemes would lead to lower taxation. This from the Guardian:

“…the shadow communities secretary, Eric Pickles, said: "Under the government's plans for bin taxes there will be no reduction in council tax. The overall burden of taxation will rise so householders will pay more. Labour ministers have already been warned that bin taxes will lead to a huge increase in fly-tipping and backyard burning. The government's half-baked plans wouldn't add up to a green measure - they are simply another stealth tax."

Environmental groups, such as Friends of the Earth, disagree, pointing to the successful schemes in Europe as an example of what can be done. However, they cautioned that such moves would only be successful if households had access to well organized recycling schemes, including weekly food collection. For those wanting to do more to reduce their waste, check out our guide on How to Green Your Recycling. ::The Guardian:: via site visit::

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