Half of Scottish councils sign up to recycling charter

Written by Jenni Davidson on 26 July 2016 in News

Sixteen Scottish local authorities have signed the voluntary Scottish Household Recycling Charter

Plastic waste - Image credit: Fotolia

Sixteen of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have signed up to an agreement designed to simplify and improve the quality of recycling in Scotland.

The Scottish Household Recycling Charter sets out a number of key principles including limiting the collection of non-recyclable waste, not collecting waste that contains recyclables, better communication with residents about recycling and a consistent definition of the different sorts of recyclable materials.

The charter was recommended to councils by COSLA in October and Falkirk Council became the first local authority to sign up in February.

It is supported by a code of practice, which was developed in collaboration with local authorities, that sets out in greater detail how the aims of the charter are to be achieved.


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One of the key requirements is that there should be a consistent approach to separation of recycling into three containers, one for paper and card, one for plastics and metals and one for glass, to make it easier for residents to understand what goes where.

The charter was the key recommendation from the Zero Waste Taskforce, a joint initiative between Scottish ministers and COSLA, and councils that sign up can access funding from Zero Waste Scotland to help with the rollout of new services.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham praised the local authorities that have signed up to the agreement, which she said was a key element of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy, Making Things Last, which was published in February.

“We want Scotland to make the most of its resources, and as more councils make this commitment, we should see Scottish householders recycling more, while producing a better quality of recyclate for reprocessing,” she said.

“The consistent approach to recycling can deliver genuine efficiencies and cost savings to both individual councils and to local government as a whole.

“I’m hugely encouraged by the progress that’s been made since Falkirk Council became the first to sign the charter in February; now we have 16 local authorities – half of all Scottish councils.

“The success so far is down to partnership working and I applaud the effort put in by COSLA and Inverclyde Council in particular, who’ve shown fantastic leadership.”

Stephen Hagan, COSLA’s spokesperson for development, economy and sustainability, said councils are committed to creating opportunities for economic development and see a consistent approach to recycling services as fundamental to the circular economy approach that can help unlock the value in waste.

The 16 local authorities have signed up to the recycling charter are Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles), Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and Scottish Borders.

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