Edinburgh recycling soars 30 per cent after kerbside roll-out

The new bins introduced in the Capital have helped increase recycling. Picture: Scott Taylor

The new bins introduced in the Capital have helped increase recycling. Picture: Scott Taylor

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THE amount of waste recycled in the Capital has soared by nearly 30 per cent in only a year after a new kerbside service was launched.

News of the increase comes after hundreds of dry-mixed and glass bins were rolled out, with many more communal waste facilities due for installation in other areas.

City bosses said they were “delighted” at the latest rise, adding that there would be a fresh focus on making it as easy as possible for tenement residents to recycle.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment leader, said: “Obviously, updates to the system have been something of a culture change for those involved, but I’m pleased to see that, now it has bedded in, residents are really taking to recycling responsibly and reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill.

“We now want to see a similar uptake across the city’s tenements and flats, which are served by communal bins, and we are working hard to increase recycling provision and to make facilities as easy to access as possible.”

Figures show that the introduction of the new kerbside service – brought to more than 140,000 homes in 2014 and 2015 – has resulted in recycled waste increasing by 29 per cent in 2015-16 compared to the previous 12-month period. Houses involved produced 51 per cent more food recycling, with the tonnage collected increasing at each phase of the roll-out.

The upturn has also contributed to a city-wide drop of ten per cent in the amount of rubbish sent to landfill since 2014-15.

Other actions aimed at boosting rates over the coming year include the ongoing audit of resources for communal properties, as well as the “grouping” of recycling and landfill bins near tenements.

Opposition polticians have welcomed the new figures.

However, they stressed that more would have to be done to reduce the need for recycling.

Green councillor Chas Booth said: “I’m pleased to see further progress in recycling and in diverting food waste away from landfill.

“It is important that, as well as getting the policy right, the council also gets delivery right.

“That means making sure there are enough recycling bins and, crucially, that they are emptied regularly and on time.”

He added: “The big prize [is] in making sure that far less waste is produced in the first place.

“That means working with manufacturers and retailers on over-packaging, with government on alternatives to plastic food and soft drink containers and with consumer and community groups on changing attitudes, just as there has been with plastic bags recently.

“There is still a long way to go in reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com