Bins that pay you to recycle could be installed on UK high streets

Ceri Roberts

Later this week, ministers will reveal new plans to encourage more recycling when people are out and about.

This means we could see the development of high street recycling machines which reward shoppers for disposing of their litter.

Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, admits that litter "remains at persistently high levels" and that recycling in stations, shopping malls and stadiums is "nowhere near as easy" as it is at home.

Although about 40 per cent of household rubbish is now recycled, up from 11 per cent in 2000/01, the new review will warn that we are let down by a lack of outdoor recycling schemes.

Ideas being considered include 'reverse-vending machines' where a can or plastic bottle is placed in a chute and money is returned to the user. They are already popular in Norway and the US and are now being piloted in a dozen Tesco stores, offering ClubCard points or donations to charity for each item recycled.

The government will recommend that "rewards and recognition" through vouchers or discounts is a better way to encourage recycling than through "enforcement and penalties."

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