Are Borderers rubbish at recycling?

Why are we rubbish at recycling?Why are we rubbish at recycling?
Why are we rubbish at recycling?
More than three quarters of the waste put in black-lidded bins in the Borders could in fact have been recycled, according to a new report.

Seventy-six percent of general waste collected in the region need not have ended up as landfill, as it emerged that many members of the public struggle to know which bins to put their rubbish in.

The need to change public attitudes towards recycling was highlighted when members of the council’s Scrutiny and Petitions Committee met yesterday, Thursday, January 12.

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The committee was informed that a Facebook recycling campaign the local authority launched over the festive period reached 68,000 individuals and resulted in 1,387 post engagements (likes and shares), with 1,108 link clicks and 107 comments and shares.

Members were also informed that what emerged from a council survey last year was that the public still struggle to know what to put in which bin.

As a result, there is a plan to purchase a web app called ‘ReCollect’ this Spring which will enable the public to type in the waste they have and receive options on the best way to deal with it.

Hawick and Hermitage Councillor Jane Cox said such an app would be “really useful”.

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She added: “I find that I am putting more and more into the general waste bin and I keep looking at packaging saying ‘do not recycle at home’, so I believe it. I used to recycle at home but now it’s going in the general waste and I’m thinking is that right or could I have it taken away in my recycling bin? So a device like the one described would be absolutely great’.

Members were told that the only type of bag the council would not collect recyclable materials within is a black bag, as black bags are always assumed to have only general waste inside.

The committee was also informed there were currently a sufficient number of lorry/HGV drivers working in the refuse collection service.

However, over the last two or three years there had been a significant drop in the number of loader/drivers – those workers who both collect and drive lorries when cover is required – representing a decrease from 20 to just three.

As a result there is a move now to train up loader/drivers internally.