Bexley’s Green Points scheme

There’s a recycling initiative going on locally in an attempt to reduce household waste. The full story seems to have been dropped in press releases and reported all over the web on sites such as

What appears to happen is the amount of rubbish in an area is measured as it is collected, then several months later it’s measured again. If the amount has reduced then the residents in that area get some “green points” which can be exchanged for local goods.

Call me a cynic but it seems to me that earning £2.50 isn’t going to be much of an incentive over three months, and any perceived change is more likely coincidence. I can’t fault the general level of access to recycling around here. Glass, plastics and paper are collected separately from main rubbish, as is garden and food waste, and it’s not a massive amount of effort to sort things into the appropriate piles. There are large tanks into which I could deposit clothes and shoes if I wanted to, and the bins are emptied reasonably regularly (recycling goes weekly, other waste fortnightly). It’s easy enough that I’ll do it through wanting a good conscience, not because there might be a paltry reward down the line.

I’m sure it’s all very well intentioned, and quotes like this one abound:

Councillor Gareth Bacon, Bexley’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We’re the first council in the country to participate in the Local Green Points scheme, and it’s very exciting to see Bexley residents and local retailers getting behind it so quickly.”


But I can’t help feeling that this must be costing more than it’s acheiving and is ultimately doomed to disappear from the headlines silently and be forgotten within a few years. Don’t get me wrong, if it opens up to me in my house just down the road from the flats that are participating, I’ll sign up. But I see no great rewards in my future or overall change in my behaviour imminent.

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