If the rest of Gloucestershire recycled as much as Stroud, the county would not need the waste incinerator being built outside Stonehouse, the district’s environment chair has suggested.

And to spur the county council to get other areas to catch up, it should foot the bill for deliveries to Javelin Park, Stroud district councillor Simon Pickering has also said.

His remarks come amid news deliveries of Stroud residents’ rubbish to Javelin Park will begin in March.

The incinerator off J12 of the M5 is going fully online in July 2019, but deliveries - and waste burning - start in the spring for first trials.

Because it is in their district, Stroud residents will have their household waste delivered for burning directly by - and to the cost of - their district council to Javelin Park.

But, cllr Pickering, who chairs the district council’s environment committee, argues not paying for haulage leaves the county council little reason to get everyone recycling as much as Stroud.

“The county should be paying the costs of taking rubbish to the incinerator,” he said.

“This would be a major incentive for the county to promote recycling as such material will not be incinerated.”

He added: “After the introduction of our new waste and recycling scheme the amount of waste going to landfill from Stroud residents has halved.

“If every district in the county had the same performance as us, the incinerator would need to be about 40 per cent smaller - bringing into question whether it’s needed at all.”

In response, Nigel Moor, the county councillor in charge of Javelin Park, said: “It’s great Stroud is now recycling more - but the other districts in Gloucestershire made the same changes years ago.

"Across the county we’re hitting 54 per cent recycling - higher than ever and 9 per cent higher than the national average - but still a long way off where we want to be.

“Last year we disposed of 130,000 tonnes of residual waste before any of the expected population growth of the next 20 years. Javelin Park will save taxpayers over £100m over it’s lifespan, whilst cutting carbon emissions."