Page last updated at 18:50 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Cash for reducing waste proposed in Bristol

People in Bristol could get cash incentives for reducing the amount of rubbish they throw away in a government-backed trial.

The city council hopes to be the first local authority to run the voluntary scheme which it would test in Bishopston, Cotham and Redland.

Volunteers would be given a wheelie bin with a microchip in it so the amount they throw away can be recorded.

Residents could be paid depending on how much they reduce their waste.

The government pilot allows up to five councils to test ways of providing incentives to encourage people to reduce household waste.

The controversial "pay-as-you-throw" plans ran aground last year amid criticism that people who generated the most waste would be charged extra.

Bristol City Council has applied to the environment department (Defra) with its alternative idea.

'No penalty'

Residents of 2,362 properties in the city would be given a chance to take part in the six-month pilot.

Gary Hopkins, the council's cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: "The scheme will encourage residents to think about what they are throwing away and act as a thank you to those who help us by reducing their waste.

"There will be no penalty for participants who don't manage to reduce their waste, and our officers will obviously be able to give them advice on how to reduce and recycle further."

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead already runs a scheme in which residents are are rewarded for recycling with vouchers for local stores.

A Defra spokesman said they expected to receive the council's proposal on Monday.

"We understand that people will be able to opt into the scheme, and will consider the proposal carefully and the impacts on people and the environment before deciding whether it can go ahead," he said.

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