Drive to increase city recycling

Changes are being made to domestic waste collections by the City of Edinburgh Council in a bid to encourage residents to recycle more.

Managed weekly collections will be introduced to all houses in the Capital which use individual wheelie bins. From September, green domestic waste bins and brown garden waste bins will be picked up on the same day on alternate weeks. Food waste recycling, which was introduced to the same households this year, will continue to be picked up weekly.

While residents already recycle a third of the city's waste this figure must rise to 50% by 2014 and 70% by 2025 in order to meet national targets. An average of about 0.5 tonnes of rubbish is sent to landfill each year per household, which is harmful to the enviornment and leads to huge pressure on energy and resources.

Food waste makes up around a third of rubbish in an average bin, so it is anticipated that residents who use the Council's food recycling scheme will produce less domestic waste. This service will be introduced city-wide next year.

Similar services to this throughout the UK have shown that food and general waste can be hygienically stored in bins with closed lids. Research funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) supports this.

Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: "Residents can be assured that with another two months until managed weekly collections begin, every person who will be affected will be sent the details.

Staff will be knocking on as many doors as possible so that they can give these details face to face. Information will also be posted on the Council website and a public awareness campaign will start at the beginning of August.

"Refuse collections in Edinburgh are being altered in a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and to encourage households to recycle more. With a large choice of recycling options available, including food waste recycling, we hope that this will reduce the need for affected households - about 50% of the city - to have waste collected for landfill each week.

"These changes will help to reduce the 148,000 tonnes of rubbish we dump at landfill each year, and to raise recycling rates from the current 33.5% to 50% by 2014.

"Anyone who would like more information about refuse collections and recycling are welcome to get in touch with the Council's Waste Service department."

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