Lukewarm reception for recycling credits

Final details of the new system of recycling credits were announced by the Government on 20 January. The credits appear likely to give less of a boost to recycling than originally expected due to changes in the way their value is to be calculated, and there is in any event a growing feeling that they may wane in significance if the signals from Whitehall about a forthcoming tax on landfill inputs are to be believed.

The credits scheme is being introduced under section 52 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It will come into force throughout Britain on 1 April but will be of marginal importance in Wales and Scotland, where waste collection and waste disposal are carried out by the same authorities, which will therefore not have to make payments to each other for material removed from the waste stream.

The idea behind recycling credits is that an

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