Full recycling to return

THE region’s return to a full system of recycling has been announced, with details of how it will work.

Dumfries and Galloway councillors agreed to implement changes to the authority’s waste policy as new legislation places even more emphasis on recycling, though the council has stressed its previous policy of landfill diversion still has a major role to play.

All households are to get recycling receptacles in addition to their existing wheelie bin. There will be two caddies (23-litre and five-litre) for weekly food waste collections.

And there will be a 55-litre box for metals/plastic bottles only/glass and a 44-litre box for paper and card. Another 44-litre box will be provided which can be used for either. These boxes will go out for collection in alternate weeks and large pieces of card and textiles in plastic bags can be put out for collection with the recycling boxes.

Householders will be able to use their existing bin for all other waste, which will be collected on alternate weeks.

The roll-out of the new collection system will see it implemented in Wigtown and Stewartry areas in 2014, with Nithsdale and Annandale and Eskdale following in 2015. The council will assist and provide full guidance and education to ensure householders are ready to make the change.

The new collection process will generate 39 green jobs in total and the initiative is fully funded until the next spending review period at no cost to the council.

The changes will contribute to Dumfries and Galloway’s carbon reduction target for 2019-2020 of 27,014 tonnes helping to protect the environment for future generations.

To complement the new collection process and to further improve recycling, new infrastructure and facilities will be provided within the Zero Waste Parks of Dumfries and Stranraer.

Councillor Ian Carruthers, chairman of Planning, Housing and Environment Committee, said: “This is the most fundamental change to waste management in a generation and it goes further than any previous legislation.

“Our council’s previous policy was to focus on landfill diversion and we now divert 58% of all waste collected and are the six lowest landfill authority in Scotland. Our rate continues to improve under these new waste proposals to target diverting 100% biodegradable waste from landfill. We have also been successful in reinstating and closing former council landfill sites and are generating electricity from the methane gas collected at Lochar Moss.

“It is estimated that kerbside recycling, combined with the new technology, proposed for the Zero Waste Parks in Dumfries and Stranraer will save the council £1.086 million year in landfill tax and increase our recycling rate from 20% to 50%, so we are on the right track.”