Fall in recycling rate bucks national trend

Andrew Farquhar, right, handed in his 7,500-signature strong petition calling on Scottish Borders Council to reinstate green waste collections to Councillor Alec Nicol, chairman of the council's petitions committee
Andrew Farquhar, right, handed in his 7,500-signature strong petition calling on Scottish Borders Council to reinstate green waste collections to Councillor Alec Nicol, chairman of the council's petitions committee

The amount of household waste recycled or composted in the Borders has fallen by five per cent since 2011, figures out this week show.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) statistics reveal 41 per cent of the 51,200 tonnes collected in 2013 was recycled, down from 46 per cent in 2011, when 53,800 tonnes of rubbish was collected.

Despite the overall fall in the total weight of waste, the amount sent to landfill has increased, both in weight and as a percentage of the total, up almost three per cent on 2011.

The figures buck the national trend, with more than 42 per cent of household waste in Scotland recycled last year, up two per cent on 2011.

A council spokesman said: “SBC remains committed to encouraging everyone not only to recycle as much as possible, to divert waste from landfill, but also to reduce the amount of waste created and to increase re-use activity.

“Reduced recycling levels are disappointing. However, this is a trend that a third of local authorities have seen over the last few years, the reasons for which could be numerous.”

He added that the council would continue to engage with the public to encourage waste reduction and recycling.

On Tuesday, Andrew Farquhar handed in a 7,765-signature petition to SBC calling for garden waste collections to be reinstated. It is set to be discussed by the council’s petitions committee later this month.