Recycling rumours put to bed

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A council boss has rubbished rumours that recycling efforts are going to waste.

Oban councillor Kieron Green asked Argyll and Bute Council’s head of Infrastructure Service Jim Smith last week if everything put out for recycling really was dumped into the same bins at collection and was not actually recycled.

‘This is an opportunity to put these rumours to bed,’ said Councillor Green, speaking at Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee.

Mr Smith answered that everything recyclable was recycled apart from a small percentage of items contaminated because they have not been washed out.

‘The bulk of the materials – cans, glass, plastic and tins go to “offtakers” and into the recycling process. They don’t go to landfill.

‘There’s some confusion that the same collection vehicles are used but they are cleaned out before the recyling rounds. I can give absolute assurance that recycled waste is taken and used in the recycling process. We are encouraged that people want to recycle but there’s more we could do,’ he said.

A report to the OLI committee showed across Argyll and Bute in 2018, 48.8 per cent of waste was recycled, composted and recovered while the rest went to landfill.

The numbers were slightly up on 2017 figures. Tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste that went to landfill in 2017 were 18,556 in 2017 and 18,671 last year.

On the islands in 2018, 61.4 per cent of waste was landfilled, the rest was recycled and composted.