Idea #4 – paying people to recycle

I don’t believe in the government overcompensating for the rest of the population when it comes to positive change. Whether the aim is to send less to landfill or to create a population that is not obese, I don’t see why money should ever seriously come into changing people’s habits.

With recycling, I think targets should be met by educating people about the facts of landfills rather than by bribing them to recycle more. Perhaps the issue of landfills filling up quickly is one considered important enough to use money to change people’s habits, but I think if something is considered important by people they will act on it.

As with any ideas of tackling obesity by paying people to lose weight, increasing the reuse and recycling of materials isn’t an idea dreamt up for the fun of it. It is in our own interests to do something about our landfill situation, so why do we have to even consider being paid for it?

It’s one thing to make recycling easier so that targets can be met, but handing out money is well beyond making it easier. We should take some responsibility for our lives (and environment).

(Incidentally, is anybody using the phrase “nanny state” in response to the suggestion of being paid to recycle more, or is it only used when there’s no suggestion of monetary incentives for a change in our behaviours?)

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