60% of rubbish in waste bins ‘should have been recycled’


Almost 60% of Scotland's household rubbish in waste bins could have been recycled, according to a new report.

The cost to councils of sending this to landfill amounts to about £54m per year, says Zero Waste Scotland.

Its study found that 670,000 tonnes of waste that could have been recycled was discarded.

That is the equivalent of more than 10 wheelie bins per household per year and is despite "significant investment" in kerbside recycling.

Food waste, old paper and cardboard, garden waste and empty glass jars and bottles made up 68% of everything put into household bins.


Typically only 27% of food leftovers are put into food waste bins, despite more than 80% of homes owning one.

Almost 15,000 tonnes of plastic drinks bottles were also incorrectly discarded.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "This report highlights a huge opportunity to continue to make the right choices when it comes to our waste.

"I would urge everyone to recycle more in 2018. It's an easy thing to do, and something you can rightly feel good about."

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "The findings clearly show us where we need to focus our collective efforts, generating benefits for our economy, our communities and our environment."

The Scottish Government has already confirmed plans to bring in a deposit return scheme for drink bottles.

Ms Cunningham said this had "real potential to increase recycling even further".

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