At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive on Tuesday, Councillor Paul Garner put forward a motion to add a grey bin – specifically for paper and cardboard – to the blue bin, green bin, brown bin and black box the majority of households already have.
Councillor Garner said the current system was “unsustainable” and any new system would have to take a number of considerations into account.
He added: “One is the environment – we need to recycle as much as we can and we need to give the residents of Falkirk district a service which fits their needs – but no one size fits all.
“We also need to take the council workforce into account and continue to consult with them and work with unions to make sure the service is okay for them as well.”
His motion, which was agreed, despite some reservations, also asked officers to look into the costs associated with this option and report back on how the Deposit Returns Scheme (DRS), which the Scottish Government is looking to introduce for drinks containers, will impact the service.
The report before members at Tuesday’s meeting gave an update on the next steps the council needs to take to provide a Household Recycling Charter compliant service.
One option discussed saw the blue bin being replaced by a multi-stack trolleybox for food, paper, card, plastics and metals. However, it was stated this option would be more expensive to operate and also take longer to uplift due to the increased sorting time required at the kerbside.
Councillor Garner’s option would see a new bin – grey in colour – introduced for paper and card only and collected every four weeks, while the blue bin – which would also be collected every four weeks – would now contain just plastics and cans.
The brown bin would contain both garden waste and food waste and be collected every two weeks, the green bin for household waste would still be collected every four weeks and the food caddy would be surplus to requirements.
The council would apply for funding form Zero Waste Scotland to help pay the estimated £1.5 million cost of additional bins for 73,000 households.
Development services director Rhona Geisler said: “Separating the paper and card from the other recycled items will improve the quality of our recycled material and reduce our processing costs.”
Councillor Malcolm Nicol said: “An extra bucket is never going to be very popular with many people.”