Edinburgh prepares for first phase of simplified recycling service

More than 140,000 residents are set for a new recycling service in Edinburgh, which will come into effect from September.

The new service will be rolled out in phases, with the first stage beginning on September 1, when approximately 20,000 households will have their red and blue boxes replaced by a wheelie bin and a box.

The new, slightly smaller, wheelie bin will then be used for general waste and the standard green wheelie bin for mixed recycling. Blue boxes will still to be used for glass, food and garden recycling will continue as normal and the red box will no longer be needed.

Houses affected by the first phase of changes will begin to receive information from mid-July, letting them know that their recycling bins and collections will be changing along with additional information on the update.

A full scale communications and engagement campaign will also help residents adjust to the roll-out, with information packs, collection calendars and details delivered to households and posters, web and social media updates spreading the message more widely, along with a series of informative events throughout the city.

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “We know that this new recycling service can work, as we have seen in other local authorities, and I am confident that the general public want to help us to boost recycling rates as landfill costs continue to increase.

“We will make every effort to help people adjust to the changes, engaging with communities, visiting homes, providing advice and monitoring to find out which households need most support.

“Recycling is something that everyone needs to embrace if Edinburgh is to become a sustainable city, and expanding capacity and simplifying the process for residents is essential for this.”

Councillor Adam McVey, Environment Vice Convener, added: “To meet our targets we need to see a culture-change – we want to help residents get used to the new service but the public have to take responsibility too. 

“Edinburgh can and should lead the way to creating a greener Scotland, and by recycling more and sending less to landfill we can achieve this.”

Edinburgh currently recycles almost 40% of its waste but needs to continue to improve if it is to meet a target of 70% by 2025.

Not only does recycling benefit the environment but by upping rates the Council can save on the millions of pounds of taxpayers money paid each year in landfill costs.

An analysis of general waste in Edinburgh, carried out in 2010, found that more than two thirds of people’s bin contents could be recycled. 

Now, by increasing capacity for recycling, simplifying the system and accepting more materials, it is hoped the new kerbside recycling service will encourage more households to recycle and sort their waste, helping to save on landfill costs and paving the way for a greener city.

This approach follows a number of other councils, including Falkirk and Fife, who have made the move to increase recycling capacity for residents.

By rolling the changes out in phases, the Council aims to learn as it progresses, helping residents to adjust to the new service by offering advice and support throughout the process.

The following areas will be affected by the first phase of changes: Alnwickhill, Blackhall, Burdiehouse, Cleikimin, Craigentinny, Craigleith, Drylaw, Gilmerton, Goldenacre, Hyvot Bank, Joppa, Kaimes, Leith, Liberton, Lochend, Muirhouse, Niddrie, Orchard Brae, Piershill, Prestonfield, Restalrig , Southhouse, The Inch, Trinity, Wardie, Warrisoton and Willowbrae.

However, not all streets will receive a new service. Those who are included will receive a letter informing them in mid July. 

Visit the recycling pages on the Council website for more information.

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