Innovation and Efficiency

13.05.19

Introduce ‘smart bins’ and hand out tax cuts to drive up recycling, urges think tank

Local authorities should use a new generation of “smart bins” and council tax cuts to drive up household recycling rates, a think tank’s new report has recommended.

Bins fitted with sensors could record household recycling rates, cutting councils’ costs using better-planned rubbish collection routes and then passing these savings onto residents with the highest recycling rates.

The new report, published by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), looks at how new technologies can be used to provide better, more efficient delivery of public services.

Some local authorities do already use sensor technology to monitor and report on bin ‘fill levels’, with Rugby and Wandsworth councils using it for public litter bins which are only emptied when full, resulting in “significant financial savings.”

The think tank has recommended that similar technology should be used inside homes in order to incentivise increased recycling using a new council tax rebate.

The report explores the possible benefits of a number of other new technologies in local government, including smart street lighting which activates when people and vehicles are nearby, reducing light pollution and energy use.

Road repair drones could be used to identify potholes and repair them by spraying asphalt, and parking space vacancy sensors could help guide drivers to available parking spaces.

In the report, the SMF argues that a new council tax cut should be introduced for households that produce less waste, which could be measured with the rollout of electronic smart bins, and therefore encouraging less waste and more recycling.

The think tank said a “carrot not sticks” approach to technology and waste is needed, and that “to get households on board with the green agenda it is important that carrots are used” as a good reward for doing the right thing.

Analysis also points to a huge variety in household recycling rates across the country, with just 14.1% of household waste in Newham being recycled compared to 64.5% of waste at the highest authority, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

 SMF’s chief economist, Scott Corfe, said: “Quite rightly, there is growing concern about the environment and the amount of waste produced by UK households.

“Local government needs to explore how new technologies – including smart bins – can dramatically drive up recycling rates and reduce waste.

“Critically, we need to ensure that all parts of the UK are doing their bit to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.”

Image credit - LordRunar

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

The Health Foundation calls for government body to protect falling life expectancy

14/11/2019The Health Foundation calls for government body to protect falling life expectancy

The Health Foundation has released a report today (14 Nov) looking at mortality rates in the UK. The data, based on research carried out by the L... more >
More than a million public sector workers have never been thanked – is it time to show them some kindness?

13/11/2019More than a million public sector workers have never been thanked – is it time to show them some kindness?

Membership club Boundless calls for action on World Kindness Day. Public sector membership club, Boundless, revealed shocking statistics ahe... more >
Living Wage Foundation calls for employers to join as UK Living Wage rises

12/11/2019Living Wage Foundation calls for employers to join as UK Living Wage rises

The Living Wage Foundation has announced a new UK Living Wage hourly rate of £9.30 per hour, an increase of 30p per hour. The new Lond... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... more > more last word articles >
The Health Foundation calls for government body to protect falling life expectancy

14/11/2019The Health Foundation calls for government body to protect falling life expectancy

The Health Foundation has released a report today (14 Nov) looking at mortality rates in the UK. The data, based on research carried out by the London School of Economics, shows that the UK is at... more >
5 reasons EvoNorth should be a date in your 2020 diary

13/11/20195 reasons EvoNorth should be a date in your 2020 diary

After the success of EvoNorth earlier this year, we're back for a 2nd year to once again unite the leaders from across the Northern Powerhouse to collaborate, share exciting innovation, build a s... more >

the raven's daily blog

5 reasons EvoNorth should be a date in your 2020 diary

13/11/20195 reasons EvoNorth should be a date in your 2020 diary

After the success of EvoNorth earlier this year, we're back for a 2nd year to once again unite the leaders from across the Northern Powerhouse to collaborate, share exciting innovation, build a stronger Northern Powerhouse and take control of our own destiny, together. Still unsure about whether to add EvoNorth to your 2020 diary? Here ar... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News