Thousands of people will soon be using a new recycling service in South Ayrshire as part of a major campaign being rolled out in stages by the Council. 6,500 households in Girvan and Carrick are the first to use the service, which aims to increase the quality of the waste collected for recycling while also increasing the amount of materials recycled.
Large quantities of recyclable materials and food waste are currently placed in general waste bins and end up in landfill sites. Council figures suggest that 36% of waste left in green bins is food; 14% is paper, card and cardboard; and 11% is metal, plastic and cartons – all of which can be recycled. Every year more than 20,000 tonnes of household waste is sent to landfill, much of which could be recycled, leading to increased costs to the public expense.
The Scottish Government has set a national target to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025. To improve South Ayrshire's current household recycling rate, which is just over 55%, new ways of collecting materials are being put in place. This development is being supported by a grant from Zero Waste Scotland which aims to improve consistency in recycling services across Scotland.
Girvan and Carrick will be the first areas to use the new service, with collections beginning in the first week of October, 2018. Two new smaller bins are being introduced for 'Paper, card and cardboard', and 'Glass Bottles and Jars', while the existing blue bins will be used for 'Metals, plastics and cartons'. Uplift of the 'Non-recyclable' green bin will change, with collections taking place every three weeks.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment said the service would make a huge difference, "We're committed to achieving our ambitious recycling targets and this new collection service helps to deliver against our commitment to bring our recycling in line with expected national standards.
"We've been out and about in Girvan and Carrick in recent weeks answering concerns about space and working with areas where shared, communal bins can help meet local needs.
"The new system will deliver cleaner, separate materials that can be sold on to specialist companies, providing additional income to support public services. We're asking people across South Ayrshire to get on board with the new service and we're counting on you to help us to recycle as much as possible."
Adrian Bond, Programme Manager for Recycling, Zero Waste Scotland, said, "The new recycling service in South Ayrshire will greatly benefit residents by providing more recycling capacity and consistency. This is an exciting project which has the potential to improve local recycling rates and prevent waste from polluting the environment.
"Recycling is a hugely significant yet relatively simple commitment we can all make. By taking the circular economy approach, valuable materials are diverted from landfill which not only benefits the environment but also helps councils to save money, which could be better used to maintain services."
Every household in South Ayrshire will be sent full details of how the new service will operate, including detailed service guides and collection calendars, while roadshows let people put their questions to South Ayrshire Council staff.
The second phase of the programme will see the system introduced to postcodes in Mossblown and parts of Ayr and Prestwick in November 2018.
If you would like to know when the service is coming to your area please use the 'Your Neighbourhood' section on the South Ayrshire Council website or phone customer services on 0300 123 0900.