The all-new, caring, sharing, environmentally sound Tory party wants us to live with the same spirit as their very own bumptious leader, all biking to work and wind turbines and eco-harmony. To that end they've announced households could be paid for recycling their rubbish under a Conservative government.
Rightfully castigating Labour's predictably stentorian plan to fine non-recyclers, the Tories have been inspired by a US scheme in which households are paid $50 a month by an intermediate firm that helps councils reduce landfill and split the savings. One company increased recycled waste by 200%, and another has spread the recycling mantra from a handful of streets to some 150,000 customers. The Tories are working with the Mayor and local Conservative authorities to see how a similar scheme might be implemented in London.
Well, if it doesn't work, they could always take tips from the Japanese town of Kamikatsu, where officials have taken the doctrinaire decision to encourage recycling by simply abolishing the garbage collection. In this "zero waste" town, folk are instead required to separate waste into some thirty groups and deposit them in collection centres around town. It's a sobering, Orwellian scheme that we fear might appeal to our scold-happy PM - here's hoping he doesn't get wind of it.