Under the Climate Change Bill - currently at the report stage in the Commons - DEFRA hopes to allow up to five councils to pilot variable charging schemes from April 2009. These will see households charged or rewarded based on the amount of residual waste they put out for collection compared with the average household.
DEFRA consulted on six guidance documents earlier this year (ENDS Report 402, p 44 ). This included initial proposals on the definition of a "good recycling service" - a requirement for any council hoping to run a pilot.
The latest consultation examines this definition in more detail, although its main proposals have changed little.1 Councils must have a composting and recycling rate of 20% to apply, and offer free kerbside collection of two waste streams. One of these must be a dry recyclable, such as paper or plastic bottles.
DEFRA will look more favourably on councils that have achieved a recycling and composting rate of 40%, with 25% of dry recyclables being recycled - or have plans in place to achieve this by 2010. Similarly, councils that collect plastics or food waste, or that plan to do so within 12 months, are more likely to be approved.
The consultation runs until 14 November.