New simplified recycling service begins in Edinburgh

A new recycling service for more than 140,000 homes in Edinburgh will begin rolling out from today.

Households involved in the first phase of the roll-out will have their green waste bins collected for the last time before they are used for mixed recycling. 

Around 20,000 properties received new grey bins during August, which they will now use for general waste. Blue boxes will still to be used for glass as well as small electrical items, and food and garden recycling will continue as normal. The red box will no longer be needed. 

Those who are receiving the new service will have been sent information and collection date calendars through the post. Throughout the week, as collections are made according to householders’ collection calendars, stickers will be placed on empty green bins advising they will now be used for recycling. 

To help the public adjust to the changes, recycling advisors will also accompany bin lorries to answer any questions and provide additional information on how the service has been updated. 

Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “We are rolling the new recycling service out in phases to ensure we get it right, learning as we go, and will be making every effort to help people to adjust to the changes. 

“As part of the roll-out we’ll be ensuring the public are kept well-informed, with recycling advisors visiting homes, providing advice and speaking to residents about how they are adapting to the new collections.

“There is no doubt we need to increase recycling rates in Edinburgh, and I’m confident the public are willing to work with us to help boost levels of recycling while keeping landfill costs down.” 

Councillor Adam McVey, Environment Vice Convener, added: “We all need to get recycling if we want Edinburgh to become a sustainable city, and this simplified service is aimed at helping citizens to do that. 

“We have seen similar schemes working well for other local authorities and I’m sure we’ll soon see the benefits here too.” 

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. 

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

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