Scepticism at report finding Scottish Borders is second in the recycling charts

Thursday October 26th 2023

Glass-Recycling


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

News that Scottish Borders Council has been ranked the second highest local authority in Scotland in terms of household recycling rates has been greeted with a degree of public scepticism.

In the latest waste and recycling figures published by SEPA the local authority achieved a household recycling rate of 57.3% in 2022, up from 55.2% in 2021, a figure that is well above the national average of 43.3%.

SBC was only pipped to the number one spot by Moray, on the Moray Firth, with a recycling rate of 57.8 per cent over the period.

But the statistics have generated incredulous comments on the council’s own Facebook page.

Many raise the fact that in recent months a whole series of both recycling and general waste collections have been missed due to a shortage of vehicles or a lack of staff.

One member of the public commented: “Seriously? You don’t do doorstep collections for glass, garden waste or food waste, and our recycling (and general waste) hasn’t been collected on the correct day more than once this year.”

Another person added: “I don’t understand how. Used to live in Fife. Had 4 bins. Food. Garden. Paper. And general. Here, I have 2. General and paper. Something wrong with those stats!”

The figures also show the council also diverts the highest amount of waste from landfill out of all Scottish council areas. Last year only 0.4% of waste from the Scottish Borders, equivalent to 227 tonnes, was sent to landfill.

Across 2022 a total of 29,012 tonnes of material was recycled by Scottish Borders households.

Later this year it will be launching a new suite of digital waste and recycling tools for residents to stay on top of recycling and their collections.

Including a new online platform and separate smartphone app, these will help residents stay informed about recycling information like never before by providing information specific to their address.

Councillor Jenny Linehan, the council’s executive member for Environment & Transport, said: “Once again the Scottish Borders has been ranked as one of the best performing local authorities for recycling rates and has even set the standard in diverting waste from landfill.

“The figures clearly show how important an issue recycling is to our communities and how they are taking responsibility to reduce their impact on the environment.

“Whilst this result is extremely pleasing I would like to encourage residents right across the Borders to not rest on their laurels. Statistics show that 76% of the average general waste bin in the Scottish Borders could still be recycled so there’s still a lot more work to do.

“As a council we will always be committed to reducing our long-term impact on the environment and making it easier than ever for residents to play their part.”

The full report from SEPA is available to view online HERE.

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