Powers in the Climate Change Act allow up to five local authorities in England to pilot household waste incentives schemes.
The Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Joan Ruddock), wrote to authorities in June 2008 asking for expressions of interest in piloting a scheme to be sent in within eight weeks after Royal Assent. That date fell yesterday.
No local authorities have so far expressed an interest in taking up these powers. The powers are of course voluntary and were introduced in response to requests from local government. As with all local issues, decisions on waste management are best taken by local government.
There are a range of tools available to local authorities to help them manage their waste more sustainably. Local authorities are working hard to reduce the amount of waste thrown away and increase the amount recycled, and we have seen great progress, with recycling quadrupling in the last 10 years.