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Welcome for Government recycling policy

SCRAPPING any idea of charging people for the rubbish they leave out has been welcomed by Croydon Council.

The announcement by the Government, said Phil Thomas, the council's cabinet member for the environment, will leave the authority free to pursue its own softly, softly approach to encouraging more recycling.

This will include widening recycling opportunities, such as introducing food waste recycling across the borough and encouraging schools and their pupils to get involved.

The council already offers schools cheaper collection rates for recycled materials than private contractors can, and supplies many of them with free recycling boxes for use in classrooms.

It also has officers dedicated to going in to schools to talk to pupils about the importance of recycling.

Councillor Thomas said: "Youngsters are more interested than some older people in protecting the environment, so the more we can get them involved in the idea of recycling, the better it bodes for the future."

He added that he had been concerned the previous government would, had it been re-elected, have forced local authorities to adopt a "pay as your throw policy", penalising residents for producing too much waste.

Cllr Thomas said: "We have been able to double our recycling rates in Croydon over the last four years by providing good recycling facilities on the doorstep, extending our neighbourhood recycling centres and constantly upgrading the facilities at our three state-of-the-art recycling centres.

"Our approach has proved to work. If the idea for charging for waste had gone ahead it would have provoked a rebellion."

Cllr Thomas added that he is watching the result of an experiment being carried out in the Windsor area in which residents have microchips put into wheelie bins to weigh recycled materials and are receiving rewards for how much waste they recycle.

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