17 April 2014

Recycling rewards for community groups

Community groups look set to benefit from a new initiative designed to boost recycling rates in the city.

Brighton & Hove City Council is considering introducing a Recycling Incentive Scheme to encourage residents to recycle more of their waste.

The scheme, which will be considered by members of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, on April 29, would reward increases in recycling with grants for local community projects.

At 25% recycling rates for Brighton & Hove have dropped slightly over the last two years.  If all residents recycled their paper, card, plastic bottles, cans and glass, rates could increase to around 35%.  An increase of just 5% could also save the council around £293,000 a year.

The proposed incentive scheme involves setting up a Community Fund where money is added as recycling rates rise. The council is considering adding £15 to the fund for every additional tonne of recycling collected.  Estimates show that a city wide increase of just 1% would add £16,000 to the Community Fund and save the council around £43,000.

At the end of the year community groups would be invited to bid for grants from the fund, which would be administered by the Sussex Community Foundation.  The council is proposing that half the funds should be available for small grants of up to £1,000 and the remainder for larger grants of up to £5,000.

The incentive scheme is one of a series of measures being considered by the council to boost rates in the city. It will also complement the communal recycling scheme currently being rolled out across the city centre which the council hopes will have a significant impact on recycling rates.

Cllr Ollie Sykes, deputy chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “There is no doubt that recycling rates in the city have faltered over the years, but there is also huge potential in the city for improvement.

“The proposed incentive scheme would see communities reaping the benefits of their efforts and, when combined with the introduction of communal recycling bins, could well see recycling rates soar.”

If agreed by the committee, the scheme could be introduced with immediate effect and run for a trial period of 2 years.

See committee report for more details: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=823&MId=4792&Ver=4