Following a Government consultation on possible schemes local authorities could introduce to increase recycling, Tory chiefs said charity shops were concerned that they would suffer if councils decided to use “tip taxes”.

The party said the country’s 6,800 charity shops already suffer from people fly-tipping unsaleable junk on their doorsteps, such as odd shoes, used toiletries and broken toys, and many local authorities charge charities to dispose of this waste.

They also raised concerns that the public could be put off using charity shops if there are mountains of rubbish dumped outside.

Eric Pickles, shadow Secretary of State for Local Government, said: “Charity shops play a valuable role in raising money for good causes and helping the environment by encouraging the re-use of goods.

“Yet Labour’s plans for new bin taxes and tip taxes now look to punish charities’ good work and harm the most needy and vulnerable in our society.”

He added: “I fear our high streets face the sight of dumped black bin bags, full of junk and rubbish, piling up outside charity shops.”

The Conservatives’ claims followed the Government’s confirmation of plans in the Climate Change Bill to give local authorities powers to reward people who recycle and charge those who do not.

Up to five local authorities will pilot incentives schemes, which will have to be approved by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

The Government said using incentives and charges was a valuable way of tackling waste and, in turn, climate change.

Waste minister Joan Ruddock, said: “Climate change means that each of us needs to look at what we currently do and think hard about what more we could do both inside and outside the home.

“This includes working together to reduce the amount of waste we generate. Our plan for incentives for waste fits into this.”

Kate Martin

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