Household recycling services in the whole of Dumfries & Galloway

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Dumfries & Galloway Council has one of the lowest household waste recycling rates in the whole of Scotland – at 26.7% in 2016, according to figures published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Only four other Scottish local authorities (out of 32 in total) have a lower rate, whereas East Renfrewshire achieves over 60% and a further 13 authorities achieve over 50%.

We wish to register our disappointment and frustration at the failure of Dumfries & Galloway Council to implement its proposed “new recycling service”, announced as long ago as November 2013, to meet the requirements of the 2012 Waste (Scotland) Regulations (see Broadcast, November 2013, page 30).

The new service was to have introduced a new kerbside collection for households across the whole of Dumfries & Galloway by the end of 2015, allowing for the collection of various uncontaminated materials – paper, card/cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal – plus food waste, for separate recycling. So far, this service has been introduced only in Wigtownshire.

As has become increasingly clear since 2012, the amount of environmental pollution, particularly from more or less indestructible plastic, has raised awareness among the general public of the need for more concerted action by a range of public and private sector organisations to tackle the problem of plastic waste, which is polluting the world’s oceans and threatening marine and avian wildlife, as well as entering the human food chain and water supplies.

We call on Dumfries & Galloway Council to make its waste management activities an urgent priority in 2018/2019, in order that the excellent recycling service which exists in Wigtownshire, and the remarkable recycling facilities of the Zero Waste Park in Stranraer, are extended to the Stewartry and Dumfriesshire as soon as possible.

We also call on Dumfries & Galloway Council to explain the problems causing the delay to the roll-out of the new service – including the provision of a new timetable for its implementation, in order that local residents are fully informed.