Local Authorities could charge for recyclables in general waste

Local Authorities could charge for recyclables in general waste

15:45 PM, 5th September 2018, About 5 years ago 8

Text Size

Making a mess of recycling? Households could soon be charged a return fee

Households who fail to recycle properly could soon be hit with a fee by their local council in a bid to reduce landfill waste.

The plans, reported by BusinessWaste.co.uk, would see local authorities charge individuals whose households incorrectly put recyclables into general waste bins, causing a bigger strain on landfill sites.

Despite huge increases in the rate of recycling nationwide, there remain tonnes of paper, plastic and other recyclable goods which needlessly go into landfill each year. Councils are under pressure to keep the rate of recycling high – including introducing penalties for households who fail to properly separate their waste.

The scheme, which has been described as a way to ‘shock repeat offenders’, aims to remove the burden placed on landfill sites, which saw 44.7 million tonnes of waste – of an overall 203 million tonnes of waste handled – in 2016. Councils across the UK budgeted a staggering £6.3 billion for waste management in 2017-18, and many authorities are looking both to reduce the burden of landfill fees as well as meeting strict recycling targets.

While households may worry fear that the proposals will mean complicated or time-consuming additions to their waste disposal routines, it won’t add any extra difficulties into the recycling process. Rather, it will follow the existing recycling guidelines, with penalties only incurred by those who fail to place recyclable materials in their usual designated bins.

BusinessWaste.co.uk say that the charges will only form part of the new measures. The incorrectly-sorted items will be returned to the household to be correctly recycled – with the fee covering the shipping and handling costs for sending the waste to its original source. It is hoped that the move will force households to think more closely about the environmental costs of waste management by imposing a financial cost on those who contribute unnecessarily to the problem.

Mark Hall, spokesperson at BusinessWaste.co.uk, commented:

“It may seem like an excessive move, but with recycling bins provided to all households, there’s no excuse not to take a few seconds to seperate your waste. Hopefully this will also prompt consumers into making more conscious decisions when they shop – for example, choosing items which can be recycled – and thus further reduce their environmental impact!”

“Of course, we don’t necessarily agree with levying charges on homeowners as a punitive measure. We’d like to see councils and local government take an educational approach to ensure that the general public are well-informed of the benefits of recycling, which is a more positive way to help form life-long habits. However, this is certainly one way to turbo-charge recycling growth, especially for councils with historically low recycling rates.”

Share This Article


Neil Patterson

15:46 PM, 5th September 2018, About 5 years ago

I can see this becoming another thing the responsibility of landlords!


17:33 PM, 5th September 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 05/09/2018 - 15:46
I hope not, with my tenant already giving me issues about the bins and her lack of wanting to recycle and wanting to accumulate 3 - 4 sacks of general waste in a fortnight this could fast become a problem.


19:00 PM, 5th September 2018, About 5 years ago

How would this work in properties with shared bins? Could have one person out of 10, not putting rubbish in recycling in a block of flats and I expect all 10 would be charged for it!


1:13 AM, 6th September 2018, About 5 years ago

I am in constant battle with my HMO tenants too, as they don't seem to give much concern to how the recycling works, items of left over food, vegetable peelings, raw meat bits like chicken skin, all thrown in recycle bins, and the rubbish bins goes half empty. Throwing raw meat in heat of summer months often cause proper stink and maggots to start crawling out of bins! I hope local council will not make landlords responsible for this, I have had more arguments with my tenants over bins than any other issue. Normally the recycle bin is 3/4 full of empty beer cans!


9:48 AM, 6th September 2018, About 5 years ago

British waste sent overseas for recycling could really be dumped or sent to landfill instead due to inadequate checks, according to the government's spending watchdog, the National Audit Office (NAO)

Bbc, Guardian and Independent reported 23rd July


10:09 AM, 6th September 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 06/09/2018 - 01:13
Mike, I have this problem in my own home living with two 'adult' kids and one of their partners! If I can't make them recycle rubbish I'd have no chance with tenants. I think people are either all for the idea or couldn't care less and it's hard to change their minds.

Michael Barnes

20:01 PM, 7th September 2018, About 5 years ago

Are they really going to take the time to check every item in every bin before they put it in the lorry?

If so, then there is little additional cost in returning.
If not, then how will they prove which property the offending item comes from?

Michael Barnes

20:14 PM, 7th September 2018, About 5 years ago

Having looked at their web site, news section, I wouldn't put much faith in what BusinessWaste.co.uk says.

They are just making assertions in this article with no references to information to back it up. Same goes for their article on re-using "single use" water bottles. ("Long-standing scientific studies" is stated, but no identification of those studies or exactly what they found)

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now