Colourful bins allow city centre on-the-go recycling for first time ever

Eye-catching new bins will appear across the city centre from today as the first ever on-street recycling scheme is launched by Edinburgh City Council in partnership with environmental charity Hubbub.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:00 am
The new bins will come in bright colours.

The new on-the-go green initiative labelled “Edinburgh #InTheLoop” is a five-month trial allowing pedestrians to recycle plastic bottles, cans and coffee cups on the street for the first time.

While there are already many recycling bins around the city, these are in “closed-loop areas”, managed by companies, festivals or universities, and not by the council.

The new yellow and orange bins will appear at regular intervals in the New Town between Queen Street and the Royal Mile.

A map of the bins' locations, with each blue dot representing a bin.

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Plastic bottles and cans should be put in the yellow bins, while paper cups from cafes or fast-food restaurants will go in the orange bins.

Plastic lids, stirrers, plastic straws and compostable cups cannot be recycled and should be put in the general waste bin.

The initiative, the largest collaborative approach to on-street recycling in the UK, is backed by partners including the Council, Changeworks and Waverley Mall, as well as several cafés, restaurants and supermarkets.

A brightly-coloured art installation in St Andrew Square will accompany the launch of the new bins.

Designed by artists Sam Cornwell and Cody Lukas, both Edinburgh University graduates, the illustration of plastic bottles, cans and coffee cups will use solar panels to light up the city centre with increased environmental awareness.

Alex Robinson from Hubbub said: For the first time, the people of Edinburgh will be able to recycle whilst on the move. The impact our pilot campaign had on the city of Leeds far surpassed our expectations and with the support of the local community, we hope Edinburgh will do the same.

“We’re urging people working, living or visiting Edinburgh New Town to use the new-look bins and help us ensure that as much valuable packaging is recycled as possible. We also look forward to launching coffee cup recycling facilities in the city in the near future.” 

Council Transport and Environment Convenor Lesley Macinnes said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Hubbub on this project, which will help us to explore ways of encouraging recycling on the go and plan for the future impact of the Deposit Return Scheme. 

“As a council we are committed to increasing recycling rates amongst residents and visitors, and as we’ve seen from previous work with Hubbub, their innovative approach to behaviour change has made a real impact on the public.”