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Three or four weekly residual collection mooted another Scottish council

*UPDATE* The council has approved plans for three-weekly residual waste collections. See story here.

[Original story]

Falkirk Council may move to an unusual three-weekly or even four-weekly cycle for collecting unrecyclable waste.

A WRAP spokesperson said Falkirk had joined East Ayrshire Council and Aberdeen City Council in declaring they were interested in collecting residual waste less frequently than fortnightly.

Councillors at Falkirk are due to consider the idea at a meeting on Wednesday.

Falkirk has a recycling rate of more than 50%, but under the Scottish zero waste plan must reach 60% recycling for household waste by 2020.

A survey of local waste collections found 60% of material that still went to landfill could be recycled and that the council was “providing waste collection services that are not being fully utilised by residents”, a council report said.

It added: “This must change in order for the council to meet its zero-waste obligations and also reduce the ongoing financial impact of landfilling recyclable materials.”

Leaving the current system of fortnightly collection of non-recyclables unchanged would see the cost of sending collected household waste to landfill rise from £2.3m this year to £2.7m in 2014/15.

Councillors will look at three options. The first would see residual waste collection reduced from fortnightly to three-weekly, while the second option is to do this but also increase the commingled recycling collection from fortnightly to weekly.

A third option would reduce residual waste collections from fortnightly to four-weekly.

A Zero Waste Scotland spokesperson said, “Nationally and in high-performing councils like Falkirk, the amount of waste households produce is falling and the amount they recycle is still increasing, so it stands to reason that, over time, less capacity will be needed for residual waste. 

“With this in mind, it is good practice for councils to regularly review their waste and recycling services to ensure they are performing well, meet local needs and deliver value for money.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • This may a logical extension of existing good practice but I hope that any councils that decide to try this - and Zero Waste Scotland- explain their proposals and monitor the impact and customer reaction very carefully. They would be performing a valuable service for all local authorities if they do.
    At the end of the day we shouldn't ignore the 60% of residual waste that could be recycled.

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