East Lothian introduces “Wash and Squash” recycling

Tuesday August 10th 2021


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Householders in East Lothian are to have a sixth recycling container added to their homes next month, with residents being asked to “wash and squash” plastics and cartons for weekly collections.

East Lothian Council is introducing new weighted bags for plastic, metals and cartons as it moves its recycling and food waste collections from fortnightly to weekly.

And booklets sent to every home this week outline the wash and squash technique people need to apply to use the white bags.

New instructions tell residents to rinse metal containers and “wash and squash your plastics and cartons”.

The squashable items include food and drink bottles, toiletry bottles, tablets and medicine bottles, food pots tubs and trays, detergent bottles and tubs fruit juice, milk, soup and sauce cartons.

The new weighted bags will separate plastics and metal from glass, which had been collected together in a green or black box fortnightly.

The council says separating the collection into two containers means they can now collect food and drink cartons.

And it allows them to collect weekly after introducing a new fleet of vehicles.

It said: “Regulations in Scotland mean that paper-based products cannot be collected with glass, because we collect your glass separately we can collect cartons along with your plastic and cans.

The white bag will join the normal green household waste bin, brown garden waste bin, a blue box for paper and cardboard, green or black box for glass bottles and jars and a food waste caddy.

People are also encouraged to collect used batteries in a food caddy liner and put them out on top of the glass box on collection day.

The council’s recycling collections will be made with specially designed vehicles which can collect the different materials at the same time reducing the number of visits to each street by a third each year.

During the pandemic East Lothian Council reduced its brown bin collection from fortnightly to monthly.

No plans to reintroduce fortnightly garden waste collection have been announced.

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