Capital recycling on the increase

Recycling in the Capital is on the increase. Picture; Sean BellRecycling in the Capital is on the increase. Picture; Sean Bell
Recycling in the Capital is on the increase. Picture; Sean Bell
THE amount of rubbish being recycled in the Capital is on the rise, new figures suggest.

Latest data shows an increase of 1239 tonnes – more than 1 per cent – in city-wide recycling for the year to date compared to 2015-16.

Rubbish being recycled in communal bins for flats and tenements also surged, rising 39 per cent, an increase of 1094 tonnes.

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Council chiefs hailed the data as a step in the right direction but stressed more could be done and that there was “no room for complacency”.

Lesley Hinds, transport and environment leader at the council, said recent changes were having a “positive” impact.

She said: “As a council we are 100 per cent committed to increasing the amount of waste recycled in Edinburgh.

“Over recent years we have implemented several changes to make recycling easier for residents and these are clearly having a positive impact.

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“While maintaining this focus on recycling, we recognise that improvements need to be made across the service, and I’m pleased to see that our ongoing efforts are making a difference.

“That said, there is no room for complacency, and we will continue to direct resources into completing the outstanding actions in our waste and cleansing improvement plan to achieve a better service for everyone.”

A report set to go before councillors next week attributes the rise in part to improvements to recycling services.

It states this includes the introduction of new kerbside dry mixed and glass recycling collections to more than 140,000 households.

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This year to date the approach has been credited with a 9 per cent rise on waste recycled in this way compared to 2015-16.

It marks a stark contrast to the amount of waste collected from mechanised street sweepers, which has seen a year-on-year decline of 34 per cent.

The council said the issue with contractors had since been “resolved”.

Green party environment spokesman Chas Booth cautiously welcomed the figures, insisting that more still needed to be done.

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He said the council would need “more ambitious” if it wanted to continue the current trend

And he added: “It is good news that rates of recycling are increasing in the city.

“More recycling is good news for the environment, but also good news for the council finances, since it’s so much cheaper to recycle our waste than to send it to landfill.

“But the council must be far more ambitious in increasing recycling rates, and crucially it must do far more on waste reduction and re-use.

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“I also want to see it made much easier and simpler for people to recycle, particularly in tenement areas.”

It comes as the council continues to push ahead with its 65-point plan to clean up the Capital, drawn up on the back of our Bin Watch campaign.

The plan, first agreed in November, aims to address perceived poor quality waste collection and street cleansing services. An update will go before councillors next week.