Cash prizes are up for grabs for smart Portsmouth recyclers

WHERE'S YER BIN? Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth councillor Lynne Stagg launch Portsmouth's Big Recycle, a recycling reward scheme. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132713-1)
WHERE'S YER BIN? Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth councillor Lynne Stagg launch Portsmouth's Big Recycle, a recycling reward scheme. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132713-1)
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PORTSMOUTH residents can win up to £250, just by remembering to separate their paper, plastics and other recyclables.

The city council has launched a £557,000 incentive scheme called Portsmouth BIG Recycle to boost recycling rates, which are well below the national average.

By registering for the scheme residents will go into a draw for monthly prizes including one £250 prize, 20 £75 prizes and 60 £25 Love2choose shopping vouchers.

After the draw council officers will visit potential winners to check their recycling bins.

The officers will check residents are recycling at least three of the things which can be put into green wheelie bins, including plastic bottles, food tins, aerosols, paper and cardboard.

The officers will also check that other materials such as glass and waste plastic are not being put in the bins.

If the inspected bins are up to scratch residents will get a reward, if not, a letter from the council saying why they didn’t win.

Opposition environment spokesman Cllr John Ferrett said it was better to encourage recycling with incentives than punish people for not doing so.

‘People do need nudging.

‘That’s the better way to do it rather than taking the punitive approach because that would just get people rejecting the whole concept of recycling,’ he said.

‘We live on a fairly crowded island in Portsmouth and recycling helps the city in terms of reducing landfill.’

City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We are having to find savings across the council, so it is important that we maximise savings from recyclable materials to protect important services.

‘Our rate is currently low so there is lots of potential to improve, which will not only benefit the environment but will help make savings.’

Portsmouth’s household recycling rate is 23 per cent, well below the UK average of over 40 per cent.

The council receives about £450,000 a year from selling recyclable materials it has collected.

The scheme has an initial run of 18 months.

Call 023 9243 7843 or visit bigrecycle.portsmouth.gov.uk to register.