OXFORD residents who recycle their rubbish could soon help their favourite charity by doing so.

Council leaders are looking into whether a trial should be held somewhere in Oxford for a recycling incentive campaign.

It would mean that any money Oxford City Council saved by stopping waste from going to landfill would go to charity rather than into council coffers.

The proposal is a suggestion from the city council’s recycling panel, which is made up of three city councillors and it will be discussed by the council’s executive board on Thursday.

Councillor John Tanner, executive board member for cleaner, greener Oxford, said: “The idea of running a competition is one that has appealed to me for a long time. It is quite difficult to organise because with the way we collect rubbish we don’t weigh it house by house, or even street by street.

“It is difficult to get an objective assessment of which house or street is the best at recycling.

“But I think the idea of money going to charity is a good one, and what I will suggest is that we run a trial scheme in a small area to see if we can make it work and if it makes a difference.”

He said votes could be organised to allow residents to decide where they want the money to go.

As part of the proposed scheme every tonne of recycling collected in an area of the city above an agreed threshold could lead to a donation to the charity.

The recycling panel has also recommended investing the £27,000 saving that the city council has made from the disbanding of Oxfordshire Waste Partnership in a campaign to encourage recycling.

Oxford currently has a recycling rate of 44.9 per cent, and the council has long-held ambitions to see this pass 50 per cent.

But having nearly doubled its recycling rate from 24 per cent in 2006/07 to 43 per cent in 2010/11 it has struggled to make the breakthrough.

At the moment the Government charges councils a landfill tax of £72 per tonne for inactive waste – which is neither chemically or biologically reactive and will not decompose – and £2.50 for active waste.

Green city councillor Craig Simmons, a member of the recycling panel, said the group had considered whether compulsory recycling should be introduced as is currently used by some London councils but opted against suggesting it.

“We want to be giving recycling a positive spin and using the carrot rather than the stick.”

Rates by area of the city

As of the third quarter of 2013/14 

  • North, Summertown and Wolvercote – 50.49 per cent
  • Marston, Quarry and Northway – 47.4 per cent
  • Abingdon, Botley and St Mary’s – 46.28 per cent
  • Jericho, Centre and East – 45.41 per cent
  • Barton and Sandhills – 45.23 per cent
  • Headington and Cowley – 44.2 per cent
  • Rose Hill and East – 44.36 per cent
  • Blackbird Leys and Northfield Brook – 43.78 per cent
  • Our top stories: