The Scottish Government has announced that nine more local authorities will get support from the Recycling Improvement Fund for innovations designed to improve waste collection and disposal, bringing the total investment to date to £20 million.
Ministers say the fund, which will total £70 million over the next five years, will deliver a step change in Scotland’s recycling performance and help local authorities get ready for future developments – including Scotland’s overdue deposit return scheme (DRS).
They say investment so far could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much 21,400 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 11,400 cars off the road.
Green MSP Lorna Slater, Scotland’s circular economy minister, said: “This is one of the biggest investments in recycling in Scotland in a generation.
“By providing the support that’s needed to modernise local recycling infrastructure we can help local authorities significantly improve their recycling performance.
“That won’t just make it easier for households to recycle more – it will also make an important contribution to meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate targets.”
Scotland’s DRS was originally due to be rolled out in spring this year, but has been hit by a series of delays.
It’s now not expected to go into operation until at least next summer.
Research suggests the new scheme will see an extra 140,000 cans and bottles go to recycling each day across the country, instead of being sent to landfill or left littering the environment.
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “These awards represent a major new development in Scotland’s recycling story, with nine more impactful projects from across Scotland which make the most of our resources, boosting recycling and the circular economy.
"We’ve been impressed by the thinking from councils and look forward to even more transformational projects being brought forward next year.”
Scotland has a national target to achieve a recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2025.
Official figures show the Scottish average for household waste was 44.9 per cent in 2019, with performance across local authorities ranging from a high of 67.69 per cent to a low of 17.13 per cent.