ENVIRONMENTAL chiefs have admitted the Capital is playing catch-up on recycling as they revealed the latest areas in line for “slimmed-down” wheelie bins in a bid to drive down landfill rates.
City households are currently recycling just over 40 per cent of all waste – nearly 10 per cent behind a national target which should have been hit this year.
New details of how kerbside recycling will be revamped and streamlined come after the News revealed last month that wheelie bins for general waste were set to be almost halved in size.
Under the new system, more than 140,000 homes across the Capital will receive grey wheelie bins with a 140-litre capacity to replace their current 240-litre green containers.
The new bins will manage only five bags of rubbish from a typical 30-litre kitchen bin, compared to eight held by larger containers.
City chiefs today released a list of 17 districts where households will be included in phase two of the overhaul, which is set for roll-out in November and comes after details of phase one were unveiled last month.
They said the new system – which will be introduced in five “waves” – would be simpler and enable residents to recycle a wider range of materials.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport and environment leader, said: “This is about getting people to think, ‘can I recycle?’, rather than just putting rubbish into landfill.
“We have a recycling target of 50 per cent, which we were meant to hit this year. Fife is at about 60 per cent and they’ve brought in this system which we are now trying out and it seems to have helped them.
“We’re looking to make it easier for people to recycle – having one container for the majority of recycling apart from glass, that’s what people have said they’re looking for, and also increasing the number of different materials that you can recycle.”
Under new arrangements, the smaller bin will be used for general waste with the current green wheelie bin redeployed for mixed recycling. he blue box will be used for glass, batteries, small electricals and textiles. Food waste will continue to be recycled in the food waste bin and garden waste will continue in the brown bin.
Although the purchase of the bins is expected to cost up to £3.1 million, it is thought diverting an extra 21,500 tonnes of waste per year from landfill will save about £2.5m annually. There will be a grace period for city households, with refuse collectors set to take a “more relaxed approach” to dealing with excess waste or bins which have the wrong materials in them.
However, opposition leaders predicted the changes would make only a “marginal” difference in Edinburgh.
Councillor Cameron Rose, Conservative member for Southside-Newington, said: “There will be an inconvenience to people who have the smaller bins and it’s not a significant reduction in the number of receptacles.
“For some people it will be fine but for quite a number the reduction in receptacles is marginal. People are losing faith in recycling – we should be an awful lot more efficient in our collection.”
Coming to a street near you
THE 17 Edinburgh districts set to be included in phase two of the recycling revamp, beginning November, are: