Redundant red boxes recycled as garden furniture

About 140,000 red boxes will no longer be needed in the Capital. Picture: Julie Howden
About 140,000 red boxes will no longer be needed in the Capital. Picture: Julie Howden
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TENS of thousands of scrapped recycling boxes are set to be melted down and re-cast as garden furniture following an overhaul of refuse collections.

Around 140,000 red boxes will become redundant within ten months with larger wheelie bins being drafted in to boost recycling rates across the Capital.

The containers – used to store cardboard and plastics before collection – could now enjoy a new lease of life as drainpipes, building materials or storage boxes.

While bin men will pick up the obsolete boxes on their rounds, the city claims most residents will keep the old bin prompting gardening experts to suggest potential uses for the box.

Jim Jermyn, show manager for Gardening Scotland – the country’s largest gardening expo – said the boxes would be an ideal substitute for flower planters.

“The most important thing that would need to be incorporated into that set-up would be some meaningful drainage holes, and then you would need to add above the drainage holes some slate-like material to stop the holes being clogged up with compost,” he said.

“I’ve just been to Harrogate Flower Show where people were displaying using the same kind of containers for growing herbs.

“Growing potatoes in them is another option. You would put three seed potatoes in initially, into a depth of about three to four inches of compost.”

Another green-fingered resident, Tom Kirby – a Granton community gardener – agreed that the bin could be adapted for house plants.

“I think that is a perfectly good idea – it would be really easy to do, because they already have holes in the bottom for drainage.”

Around 20,000 households have already switched to the new recycling system that introduces a slimmed-down wheelie bin to use for general waste and redeploys the existing wheelie bin for recycling.

Those that are collected are being taken to Seafield Community Recycling Centre, with the hard plastic being turned into garden furniture.

While many will simply use the redundant container for storage, others may get creative in finding a new use for the bin.

A council spokesperson said: “The aim of the new, simplified recycling service is to increase the capacity for recycling and to make the process easier for residents, helping us to increase recycling rates and to lower landfill costs.

“In order to do this we have made changes to the way people use their bins.

“We are encouraging the public to keep the red boxes for storage.

“So far, most households have decided to keep the boxes, though those that are returned are then collected from Seafield Community Recycling Centre, along with other hard plastic recycling. This is then chipped or granulated to be turned into another material.”