Headlines: April 1st, 2005

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is seeking councils who are willing to test out incentives that encourage people to reduce their waste and find better ways of disposing of it. Councils that develop schemes designed to increase the amount of materials re-used, recycled or composted, or reduce the amount of waste being produced will be able to share in the 5m pounds funding. Grants are more likely to be made where councils collaborate with each other and with local partners including the community sector and local media.Defra wants to build up an evidence base for future policy in waste management so that it can offer guidance to councils on best practice. It believes that by trialling new and innovative incentives, and monitoring and evaluating the success of existing schemes, it will be possible to highlight good practice and find out what works best in local circumstances.

Some of the schemes already being piloted are based on financial incentives such as cash discounts or council tax rebates, prize draws for taking part in recycling, cash back incentives for real nappy use and “cash for trash” schemes. Voluntary schemes include community rewards for tree planting and donations to schools per tonne of recyclate collected.

A panel of experts will evaluate applications which must be received by 1 July 2005. The results will be announced on 1 August 2005.

Link: www.defra.gov.uk