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Should people be paid to recycle?

People who recycle household waste could get up to £130 a year in shopping vouchers under the Tories, says the shadow chancellor. Is this the right approach?

The Conservatives have been piloting the scheme in Berkshire and say they would roll it out across Britain. George Osborne said the Tories would pay people to recycle, not "punish them" with "bin taxes".

The UK must cut the amount of waste sent to landfill by nearly two-thirds by 2020 to meet EU targets. But Energy Secretary Ed Miliband described Mr Osborne's comments as "greenwash".

Have you already taken part in the payment scheme in Berkshire? Would you like to see it rolled out in your area? Would receiving payment encourage you to recycle more?

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Published: Tuesday, 24 November, 2009, 12:41 GMT 12:41 UK

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:58 GMT 12:58 UK

No, they shouldn't be paid. It's everybody's duty to act to protect the environment, just as it was their duty to help fight Hitler during the last War. They should not have to be rewarded for undertaking what is now an essential task- this is pandering to the 'what's in it for me' culture that's grown up during the past 20 years or so, and it must stop. Far from being bribed into doing what they should be doing anyway, there ought to be penalties for failing to recycle.

Owen Morgan, Malvern, Worcestershire

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:58 GMT 12:58 UK

"...now I have 3 plastic bins and 2 plastic bags, for what I can no longer remember so all my rubbish goes in the nearest of the bins....David Campbell, Cheshire"

Just goes to prove that you can't teach a donkey to recycle.

[drystonewall], Leeds

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:56 GMT 12:56 UK

"Fining people who don't recycle is a much better idea...

Mark Stone"

and what do you suggest for people who CAN'T recycle?

Should people, who live in blocks of flats be fined, as you are proposing, because there are no bottle banks, collection services, nor recycling centres? What about people who do not have the luxury of a car, you can't bring your rubbish on to a bus or a tube?

Why not make recycling more accessible and feasible for everyone? It worked in Milton Keynes...

Natalie Hansen, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:51 GMT 12:51 UK

Yes we should be paid. We don't get a reduction in council tax for doing half th sorting work for them. And they just ship it out to India anyway! How system is a disgrace. We shouldn't be forced to keep refuse hanging about for 2 weeks in this day and age. If they are not going to change it, then there should be some compensation/incentive.

[Catherine5280], Waltham Abbey, Essex, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:33 GMT 12:33 UK

What a Joke!

If NuLabour ideas were not bad enough, we are now poised for the Tory-takeover with much the same ideas and sound-biting - things will never change.

I do not need to be paid to recycle as I see it as my duty and responsibility - We already compost as much as we can at home.

I feel this is a little piece of electioneering by public schoolboy Dave trying to gain votes by offering money in return.

None of The Above, UK

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:33 GMT 12:33 UK

tracie, london said "if for just ONE DAY we all took the packaging off everything we bought and left int at the till checkout the supermarkets would change their ways quick smart. how about a flashunwrap!"

When I lived in Germany supermarkets were required to provide bins into which customers could place unwanted packaging. The supermarkets were forbidden to put the cost of the bins & emptying them onto their prices, although they could charge their suppliers.

Why not adopt it here?

[JonnyStort]

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:31 GMT 12:31 UK

What a good idea. Especially in the current economic climate, green issues sometimes get forgotten.

This will also have more far reaching affect on the public and make more people active recyclers rather than just aware but not actually participating in green issues.

Anon, Edinburgh

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:31 GMT 12:31 UK

It should be socially unacceptable to drop litter and standard practice to recycle but the first step is to penalize manufacturers who over package.

Caroline Baggins

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:30 GMT 12:30 UK

No, they should be fined if they don't

James, Inverness

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:26 GMT 12:26 UK

What abouit those people who try buy food, goods etc with less wrapping in the first place? How will they be rewarded. Their only recourse is to forget trying to stop waste at source and buy things with as much packaging as possible so that they can be rewarded for recycling it. Come on Osbourne - stop this at source. Address the supemarkets, food manufactures etc by offering an incentive (or disincentive) to prevent the exessive use of packaging in the first place.

Boz Scaggs, Funky Town

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:26 GMT 12:26 UK

How would this work in practice?

I recycle every week but some of the others in my block of 4 flats don't so how would they work out that I should get paid but not my neighbour?

Chris C, London, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:24 GMT 12:24 UK

Can't help feeling that all this recycling gimic is just that a gimic. Did I not read that the market for this has fell through the floor. So just exactly what is happening with what we do now? I smell something, and its just as big a stench you get at landfill sites only trouble is you have to go to some other poor third world country. Here's a thing, whilst working in The Netherlands as a contractor I noticed that you got a bigger deposit for plastic bottles than glass, doing it for decades.

Rob Low, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:21 GMT 12:21 UK

As we pay people money to sit around on their jack jones all day doing nothing, I can't see the logic of not paying people to recycle.

Luke O'Sullivan, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:20 GMT 12:20 UK

No it is not the right approach. People should be educated to recycle, not paid. If it was easier to recycle in this country then more people would.

[think_green], Plymouth, United Kingdom

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Added: Wednesday, 25 November, 2009, 12:17 GMT 12:17 UK

Packaging is not a consumer issue, but one of marketing, branding and corporate irresponsibility.

We do not want all of the rubbish shops foist on us so penalising them would be much better course of action

[_OhMiGod], Weymouth, United Kingdom

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