Falkirk district householders need to recycle even more to avoid waste going to landfill

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Householders are helping Falkirk Council reduce the amount of refuse going to landfill – but more needs to be done to meet targets.

The Scottish Government wants to stop black bag waste and recyclable materials being buried in the ground.

Local authorities are being urged to increase recycling rates and build more energy-from-waste incinerators.

However, this week a report by local authority body Cosla warns “as it stands it seems unlikely that the 2021 ban will be fully achievable”.

And while Ministers say they are “aware of the challenges” of the ban, they still want to go further as the 2021 ban would divert around one million tonnes of household waste from landfill every year.

It would see a range of materials banned from landfills including non-recyclable black bag municipal waste, wood, textiles, paper and food.

Councillor Paul Garner, Falkirk Council’s spokesperson for the environment, said: “Communities across the Falkirk area have been very supportive of recycling and the associated reduction in the amount we send to landfill.

“The most recent figures for 2017 show that we recycle nearly 56 per cent (41.7k tonnes) of materials (up from 51 per cent in 2016 (36.8k tonnes). This is one of the highest figures in the UK.”

He added that landfill is correspondingly decreasing in recent years with only around one third of waste now sent to landfill.

The councillor added: “In terms of meeting the ambitious targets set by Scottish Government we stress we are doing everything we can to minimise waste and with the continuing support of local communities, we will aim to achieve this target.

“We were also the first local authority to sign up to the Scottish Household Recycling Charter and associated Code of Practice meaning we are adopting best practice in how we deal with waste.”

As part of yesterday’s (Wednesday) budget proposals by the SNP administration there was a commitment to redesign the waste management strategy to encourage more recycling.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, said that the work was ongoing and plans to introduce another bin for paper and cardboard waste have already been announced.