Multiple recycling boxes for the bin in council shake-up

Some residents say current system of containers is too confusing. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Some residents say current system of containers is too confusing. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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ENVIRONMENT chiefs are to consider scrapping multiple recycling boxes and bags after residents reported widespread confusion over collections.

A review of Edinburgh’s recycling system is to be carried out, with the introduction of a single recycling container for cardboard, glass, plastic and paper among options being considered.

The announcement came just 24 hours after the council revealed weekly collections of green and brown wheelie bins will be axed from September in a bid to save money and encourage households to recycle more.

City leaders today said they accept that the current system could be much simpler and agreed to work on a new system with fewer containers.

Residents in low-rise areas, totalling around half of the city population, have four bins, two recycling boxes – blue and red – and two plastic bags – clear and blue.

Households can also receive a small clear plastic bag for batteries and a pink bag for unwanted clothes.

Red and blue boxes may now be replaced with a single container, with the items sorted after collection.

As of September, green and brown wheelie bins will be emptied fortnightly, grey food waste bins weekly, and the remaining red and blue boxes on alternate weeks.

The move will mean some areas will have two collections each week.

News of the review came after the announcement of fortnightly collections was met with confusion by many city residents, including on the Evening News Facebook page.

Reader Carol Logan, from Fife, said the fortnightly collections in her area often led to her family having to make their own drop-offs when bins overflowed.

She wrote: “Bin collections are fortnightly and we have to take some bags to the tip in between.”

Robert Pearson, from Muirhouse, said: “As I live in a stair we are not given the recycle bins and have our own green wheelie bin for general waste.

“Now when we go to every two weeks the bins will be overflowing. My other fear is that residents will leave rubbish around the local area.”

Chris Paterson wrote: “Bad idea – we saw what it was like when bin men were striking last year. This is going to make the city very messy.”

High-density areas where tenements or blocks of flats are common mostly have large communal on-street bins which are uplifted every week, which will not change.

Gavin Corbett, a Green councillor, said: “The new provisions will appear quite complex and it needs to be well communicated to the public. There will be teething problems as there were when the food bins came in.

“My worry is those who are committed to recycling will embrace this but those not currently doing it might be put off.”

Jim Orr, the city’s recycling leader, said: “We constantly listen to feedback and understand that people would like us to make it simpler and more convenient.

“This is why we’re currently looking at the red and blue box system in an effort to make it even easier for residents to recycle their household materials.”


Green bin: refuse/rubbish

Brown bin: garden waste

Small grey bin: for storing food waste indoors

Large grey bin: for food waste collections

Blue box: glass, tins and aluminium cans

Red box: cardboard, packaging

Pink bag: clothes

Blue bag: newspapers

Clear bag: for plastic bottles

Small bag: for batteries