Changes to bin collections


Why the service is changing

There are several reasons for making these changes. They come under three headings:

1. Saving money

The current system of collecting mixed recyclable materials in the grey bin, then paying for them to be separated before they can be recycled, is costly.

Collecting materials separately means we are more likely to receive income for them. This income can vary, but materials from separate collections will always be cheaper to dispose of than mixed recycling.

Also, less than half of the waste that currently goes in purple bins belongs there. The rest could have been recycled. Recyclables wrongly going in the purple bin costs the council more than one million pounds every year.

The Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund is providing £2.8 million pounds to buy the new bins and make these changes.

2. Tackling climate change

These changes will reduce waste, maximise recycling and help to tackle climate change.

This will help us meet the targets of our Transition to Net Zero Action Plan: 2022 - 2030.

3. Aligning with national policy and neighbouring authorities

The accompanying Code of Practice (CoP) to the Scottish Government’s Charter for Household Recycling in Scotland requires paper and card and glass to be collected separately from other materials. We expect this to become mandatory.

It also seeks consistency in collections across Scotland. Our new system will align with our neighbouring authorities who each collect paper and card in one bin at the kerbside, plastic containers and cans in another, and glass at glass recycling points.

Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) was due to be implemented in 2025 however is now expected in October 2027. It is expected this will place a 20p deposit on drinks containers (excluding milk).

The DRS will result in fewer high value materials (such as aluminium cans) going into household recycling bins. This will increase the cost to us of disposing of mixed recycling.

The new bin system ensures that we get the maximum financial benefit from our recyclables post-DRS.

The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations

These regulations will shift the cost of collecting household packaging waste from local authorities to producers. It should result in payments to local authorities from October 2025.

Payments will be dependent on materials being collected and disposed of in an efficient manner. We don't yet know the criteria for efficiency, but we expect that the higher quality recyclables collected with the new service will ensure optimum payments.

The EPR Regulations also introduce a requirement to collect flexible plastic films at the kerbside from March 2027. This doesn’t work with fully mixed recycling as it’s too difficult to separate films from paper (and glass).

Films can be put in the new grey bin mix with plastic pots and containers, cans and cartons come 2027. Until that time, please take films to a supermarket for recycling or place them in your purple bin.

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