East Lothian Council is to take a significant step forward in improving recycling rates in East Lothian by signing up to the Scottish Government’s Household Waste Charter and Code of Practice.

It was agreed at a Cabinet meeting today (Tuesday) to sign up to the charter, which will give the council access to grant funding to further drive up recycling in the county.

East Lothian Council is currently delivering a recycling rate of between 55 and 58 per cent which exceeds current statutory requirements. However, in order to hit future recycling targets of 70 per cent in 2025, investment and alterations to our current service provision will be needed.

Signing up to the charter and adhering to the code of practice should mean the council can access funding through Zero Waste Scotland which will then see significant extra investment.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment, said:

“Local residents have been very engaged with our waste and recycling service and I thank everyone for helping the council achieve our already very good recycling rates. But we know we need to do more to drive this up further and avoid potentially crippling fines if we don’t meet targets which come into force in the next few years. “At a recent resident’s panel held to give us an insight into how our waste and recycling provision is viewed, there was a unanimous decision that the council should sign up to the charter to enable us to invest more in our services. “It’s very encouraging that our local residents will welcome this and continue to work with us to ensure we’re recycling as much as possible. This could be a very important step forward for us in improving our environment for the future.”

Once signed up to the charter and code, the council will need to produce a strategic transition plan that will be audited by a panel before acceptance to the charter and its related grant support. The plan will need to ensure the council is meeting the essential criteria in the code of practice.

Essentially, the council will be committing to:

  • Encouraging citizens to participate in our recycling and refuse services
  • Investing in staff training to ensure they can deliver services in the most effective way
  • To develop a code of practice that ensures we are using best practice – and publicise this code of practice to local residents and community partners

A seasonal reminder:

We’d like to remind our residents to recycle their used Christmas wrapping paper in their usual paper bin. Used real Christmas trees can also be left out along with your brown bin for collection and recycling. Some recycling dates will change over the festive period. To double check yours, please refer to the flyer you should have received.

Published: Tuesday, 20th December 2016