East Lothian's new weekly household recycling collection service

Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, visited East Lothian Council’s waste services depot at Kinwegar, Wallyford to learn more about the new household recycling service introduced by the council in 2021.

The new service provides a weekly collection of a range of recyclable materials from more than 54,000 households across the county and is collected in specifically designed vehicles that keeps the materials separated.

Council Leader, Norman Hampshire, said: “Although East Lothian performs above the Scottish average recycling rate it was felt that by adapting our household collections we would be able to increase our recycling rates even further. As part of our commitment as signatories to the Scottish Household Recycling Charter in 2020 we went out to tender to procure a recycling collection model that more closely aligned with the Charter objectives and also delivered best value through the return of high quality resources to the commodities market, while ultimately improving the service delivery to our residents.

“Following an application to the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund administered by Zero Waste Scotland, East Lothian Council received an award of £2.7m which enabled us to purchase a fleet of new collection vehicles and containers for the new service. Early data indicates that the quality of the materials presented and collected since the new service was introduced is extremely high and welcomed by the various markets for processing. Providing a service weekly has also been welcomed by households as they don’t have to store their recyclables for as long and in fact many have been able to reduce the number of containers needed.

“I was pleased to be able to discuss and show Ms Slater and Iain Gulland and Ray Georgeson from Zero Waste Scotland the system in operation and detail East Lothian Council’s aims to continue a significant increase in opportunities to recycle household waste.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “By recycling as much as we can we divert valuable materials from landfill and instead keep them use for the benefit of people and planet. As one of 16 projects to date to receive funding from the Recycling Improvement Fund, it was fantastic to see first-hand the difference that investment in East Lothian Council’s recycling infrastructure has made.”

Published: Thursday, 10th March 2022