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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 15:05 GMT
Rubbish plans flawed, says mayor
Rubbish bins
The mayor described the plans as flawed
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has warned ministers their pay-as-you-throw rubbish plans would be "a disaster".

The mayor also said half of Londoners would be exempt from the measures because they live in flats.

His comments came in a response to a consultation by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Last week, the government allowed local authorities to pilot the pay-as-you-throw schemes.

The plans outlined earlier said households would get an annual discount of up to 50, or be charged an extra 50, depending on rubbish not recycled.

Negative impacts

But Mr Livingstone said the proposed schemes are "flawed" and risk sparking an increase in fly-tipping, said Mr Livingstone.

In his submission, Mr Livingstone said he supports the use of rebates to encourage recycling in households but the current suggestions amount to "direct charging".

"The mayor believes the introduction of direct charging would be a disaster for London under current governance arrangements and would have significant negative impacts on neighbouring boroughs, if introduced on a borough by borough basis," the submission says.

It added: "The mayor is concerned that by stipulating that only properties of kerbside recycling services would be eligible for incentive schemes, the government excludes nearly 50% of Londoners who live in flats."

The response also questions ministers' claims the schemes would be revenue neutral, insisting that local authorities would have to raise council tax in order to fund administration.

A Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokeswoman said: "We will publish details of the proposals in due course. Criticism of the proposals is therefore premature."

The environment minister defends the pilot scheme

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