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On-street bin trials boost glass recycling

Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh Council has reported a 300% rise in glass recycling from high-density housing areas of the city after piloting a move to on-street bins.

Two pilots were carried out by the council in the Hillside and Bellevue areas to test different schemes, including increased recycling capacity and changes to the mix of materials collected.

Existing separate paper and packaging banks were replaced with mixed recycling bins, fortnightly blue box glass collections swapped with on-street bins, and kerbside mixed recycling collections replaced by communal bins.

During the pilot period, glass recycling increased by 300% while mixed recycling rose by around 38%, the council reported.

It also found that recycling bins next to landfill bins were less likely to be contaminated with general waste, while more convenient collections increased the amount of recycled.

Environment convener Lesley Hinds said: “We are making great strides to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill here in Edinburgh, with a number of successful initiatives to encourage recycling.

“It makes absolute sense that we also focus efforts on simplifying recycling for those living in flats and tenement properties too, and these results demonstrate that there are lots that can be done.”

The transport and environment committee has approved the principles of the pilot schemes, but councillors agreed they could not be applied in a blanket approach across the city.

The Scottish Government’s household recycling charter insists that paper and cardboard are collected separately from cans, plastics and drinks cartons, contrary to the approach of the pilot schemes.

It was also noted that the future development of communal recycling was dependent on whether the council signed up to the charter.

The trial follows the roll-out of a new kerbside recycling service for more than 140,000 homes for 2014-15, during which the amount of waste recycled rose by 29%.

In April, the council announced it was withdrawing from commercial waste collections from July because it was losing money.

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