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Tuesday, June 9, 1998 Published at 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK


Recycle or pay up plan

The UK lags behind other European countries on recycling

The government is considering a plan to introduce a tax on rubbish, with households being charged according to how much they produce.

The idea is part of a new strategy to increase the amount of waste recycled and reduce the amount going into landfill sites.

BBC environment correspondent Robert Pigott: UK recycles less than most other EU countries
Details will be announced on Tuesday in a consultation paper.

Under the proposals the new tax would replace the levy charged by councils for rubbish collection.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the government had been given research showing that richer households produce more waste and would pay 116 a year compared with 33 a year for poorer homes.

These rates were similar to that already charged in the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

[ image: The aim is to cut landfill rubbish]
The aim is to cut landfill rubbish
But BBC environment correspondent Robert Pigott said: "The proposals could be controversial because recycling facilities are not uniformly good and are poor in many rural areas of the country, making it hard to throw away potentially recyclable rubbish."

A range of proposals to boost Britain's recycling performance will be set out in the consultation paper, Less Waste, More Value, to be published by environment minister Michael Meacher.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment confirmed the paper would set out a range of options on which the government was inviting views as part of its National Waste Strategy.

The government is likely to depict any proposal on a rubbish charge not as a new tax, but rather as a way of persuading householders of the benefits of recycling.

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