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New recycling service leads to impressive improvements
Scotland's Lanarkshire Council has thanked residents for their efforts to improve recycling, following the introduction of a new waste and recycling service in October.
Despite problems during implementation, 19,830 tonnes of waste was recycled in the first three months compared with 18,666 tonnes over the same period in 2016 - an increase of 6%. Of that, between 90% and 95% was assessed as being the highest quality of material by the commercial companies that process the waste.
As a result of delays in delivering some recycling bins for glass, metal and plastic, the amount of these materials collected was lower than predicted. However, with most residents now having all the necessary bins, this should increase over the coming months.
"If the level of waste collections since October continues, we could see an overall recycling rate of 47% for 2017/18, compared to 41% in 2016/17," says Councillor Michael McPake, convener of the environmental service committee. "This would be a significant step towards achieving the Scottish Government target of 60% by 2020.
Over the first three months of the service, there was an increased use of the council's seven Household Waste Recycling Centres. However, waste from these sites is separated and recycled, including material placed in general waste skips which is sorted by the commercial processors.
From public feedback in the first weeks of the new service, the council identified that some tagging of recycling bins was overly strict. Additional staff training has been provided and tagging will be monitored to ensure a more appropriate approach.
"There were significant problems at the introduction of our new service, and we do appreciate the inconvenience this caused to residents," says the Councillor.
"Despite these problems, residents clearly want to recycle as much waste as possible and have responded positively by using the three recycling bins effectively. As a result, we have seen more recyclable materials collected and the quality of that material is high, which means less residual waste goes to landfill.
"I would like to thank all our residents for their patience during the introduction of the service and for their commitment to recycling which is delivering very encouraging results.
15th February 2018