Costing the Earth (Radio 4) had an interesting study of recycling in California, where it is mandatory to put a deposit on bottles and plastic packaging. This has encouraged a culture where poor people raid the blue bins used for recycling, especially in Haight-Ashbury, and take what they can carry (plastic bottles and tins) to the recycling centre for money, about 25 cents per item. Much of the money the interviewees get is spent on drugs or alcohol.
Is this a system we should adopt in the UK? I remember tuppence on bottles of drink (Corona, Schweppes and others), which encouraged children to collect them for pocket money; but the criminal element, even involving gangs driving trucks from one block to another, is new to me.