Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Throw away Britain



The question of how best to deal with household waste is debated all over the world.

Many countries now operate pay-as-you-throw systems, but there are even different approaches within that.

Pre-paid bins in Belgium, communal recycling in Seoul, extra charges for not recycling in northern Italy and a choice of bin sizes in Seattle. All have their merits - but what do locals think about the schemes?


Roncade, Italy
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Why nappies prove a problem for Italy's residents

In Roncade, northern Italy there has been a big push by local authorities to encourage people to recycle.

Each household gets five bins for five different types of waste. They then pay an annual fee but are charged extra every time they put out waste that cannot be recycled.

The scheme has seen recycling rates in the town jump from 14% to 80% in five years.

Daniele Sartor has a new baby and faces higher charges to dispose of the child's nappies.

Seattle, USA
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One family explains how they deal with their waste

In Seattle, each household is given three bins: one for recycling, one for garden clippings, and one for normal waste.

Householders can choose one of three sizes of bin for normal waste and are charged according to how big - or small - that is.

Sorting waste according to each bin is a time-consuming process, as the de Maranville family can testify.

Flanders, Belgium
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Chipped bins weigh waste in Belgium

In Flanders waste lorries are able to weigh each bin. A microchip then identifies the owner and charges them for the amount of waste they throw away.

Residents must keep enough money in their account to pay for removal otherwise the bin will not be emptied.

Mother of two Agnus Meeus lives in the village of Bonheiden and thinks the scheme works well.

Seoul, South Korea
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Residents in Seoul gather to sort their rubbish

Seoul residents are able to recycle for free, with any other rubbish having to be put in specific paid-for bags.

The scheme was introduced in 1995 and has seen recycling rates double.

Lee Myung Joo has lived in her apartment for 20 years and sees recycling as an important part of community life.



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