Every home in the borough could be given money to spend at supermarkets to reward them for recycling.
Under the scheme, which could be the first of its kind in the country, householders would be rewarded for helping the council to improve on its recycling record.
All 36,470 households in the borough could receive vouchers.
The exact amount would depend on how much extra household waste the borough has recycled between April 2012 and March 2013.
Although the scheme is in its early stages, a council document suggests every house could, for example, be given £1 to spend for every extra 10,000 tonnes that goes to recycling.
Around 35 per cent of the borough’s household waste is currently recycled – about 8,598 tonnes, the equivalent of 430 buses.
Council bosses have submitted a bid for £39,000 of government funding to bankroll the scheme.
If successful they would then approach supermarkets to find partners for it.
Coun Munsif Dad, cabinet member for recycling, said: “The scheme is quite simple, basically supermarkets would reward increases in Hyndburn’s household recycling rate by giving vouchers to all householders to spend in their stores, with the bigger boost in recycling, the bigger the reward.
“We believe it’s the first scheme of its kind in the country, and it has huge potential to drive up Hyndburn’s recycling rates, which is better for the environment and for council tax payers as we’ll pay less landfill tax.”
Increases in recycling figures would be checked against data from the 2011/2012 year using the national waste database WasteDataFlow.
Any rewards would then be distributed in June 2013.
The result of the bid will be announced by August 16 and if successful the council will invite tenders from all major supermarkets in the borough.
Coun Dad added: “Here in Hyndburn we are no strangers to schemes aimed at promoting recycling. If we get the money from the government it’ll be a green light for another exciting campaign to boost recycling in the borough.”
>> We asked shoppers what they think of the plans:
- Former engineer Charles Reid, 63, from Accrington, said: “I think some people are naturally lazy and won’t recyle but even if you get some to it will be better than none. “Recycling should be its own reward and people shouldn’t be rewarded with vouchers to do it.”
- Mrs Dorothy Walmsley, 75, from Accrington, said: “I’m all for it. I have been recycling for many years and I have always said there should be some reward for people that do it. "I think the vouchers are a good idea, especially as I’m going to benefit.”
- Plumber Harvey Ashworth, 21, from Accrington, said: “I think it would be a good scheme. “I didn’t realise the recycling rate was that low. I thought it would be higher than that as everyone I know recycles.“It’s a good idea if all the houses in the borough will get vouchers. For those who don’t do it, it comes down to laziness and you won’t get rid of that.”