Recycling in Glasgow is set to receive a multi-million pound investment boost following a successful £21.2m bid to the Scottish Government's Recycling Improvement Fund.
The £21.2m award will go towards introducing a new kerbside collection bin service for cardboard and paper only and also building a replacement for the council's Blochairn recycling centre so material can be processed more effectively.
The material recovery facility at Blochairn is now considered to be approaching the end of its useful life and it is anticipated that modern equipment will help to drive up the city's recycling rates. The replacement for Blochairn has been earmarked for inclusion in plans to redeveloped fully the council's site at Easter Queenslie, which currently operates as a household waste recycling centre and depot for cleansing services staff.
Introducing a separate bin for cardboard and paper will help to ensure high quality material is sent for processing and also match the council's obligations under Zero Waste Scotland's Charter for Household Recycling to provide separate bins for different types of recyclable waste.
Councillor Ruairi Kelly, City Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, hailed the £21.2m award as a major breakthrough in the effort to improve recycling in Glasgow.
Councillor Kelly said: "This is great news for recycling in Glasgow. We managed to get everything we asked for from Recycling Improvement Fund and that's a huge vote of confidence in our plans for recycling in city.
"Bringing in a new bin for just paper and cardboard will protect the quality of the material and make sure as much paper and card as possible goes on to be recycled. This new bin will bring Glasgow in line with many other authorities and ensure we get as much as can out of the paper and card that's consumed in the city.
"Plans for a new recycling facility at Easter Queenslie are hugely significant. Glasgow has long been unique among Scottish local authorities in having its own material recovery facility but Blochairn is now starting to show its age,
"Investing in modern equipment that will properly separate the waste we put into our household recycling bins will deliver both quantity and quality of material to the companies that process recyclables. The new recycling centre at Easter Queenslie is part of a much wider proposal for redevelopment that I am sure will be very well received by residents and our staff alike.
"We are confident our plans will help to support a big improvement in Glasgow recycling rates. That's good for sustainability in the city but also for the national effort to reach a Scotland-wide target of recycling 70% of all waste by 2025."
The Scottish Government's Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said: "By investing more than £21 million towards improving facilities in Glasgow, we will help make it easier for households to recycle and increase local recycling rates.This is the largest single investment to date from our £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund. With Glasgow being Scotland's biggest local authority area, it will also make an important contribution to the national recycling picture.
"This is a big year for recycling, with Scotland's deposit return scheme going live on 16 August and our ambitious Circular Economy Bill being published soon for Parliament to scrutinise. These actions will boost recycling across the country, and make a major contribution to the fight against the climate crisis."
Scheduled to be introduced in 2023/24, the new service for just paper and cardboard will go hand-in-hand with a separate bin for food and drink cans but also plastic bottles and an expanded range of plastic pots, trays and tubs. Both services will use 240 litre bins and be collected every four weeks to reflect the increased bin capacity available for households that receive a kerbside collection. General waste, garden & food waste and glass will follow the current schedule for kerbside collections.
Work on how to extend recycling provision for people in flats and tenements is currently underway. It is anticipated a further bid to the Recycling Improvement Fund will be submitted in 2023/24. The fund is administered by Zero Waste Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Pic shows Councillor Kelly and Ms Slater at the Blochairn Materials Reclaim Facility.