Falkirk Council: Glass collections to continue as DRS stalls
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As the UK and Scottish Governments continue to disagree on whether glass should be included or not in the recycling scheme, its starting date has now been pushed back to October 2025.
Falkirk Council had previously announced its intention to stop kerbside recycling for glass as it expected people to start using the bottle return machines that were being installed in sites across the district.
The uncertainty meant that members of Falkirk Council’s executive agreed to extend the current contract and that will now continue until September 2024, members agreed on Tuesday.
When the current contract finally ends, the council will re-tender for a new contract that will not include textiles or small electrical items, which are currently also collected in the black box.
Members heard that a very small amount of these items are currently recycled and that making black boxes for glass only will be more cost-effective.
Conservative councillor James Bundy said that his group welcomed the proposal, saying it would “make it as easy as possible for the people of Falkirk to recycle their glass”.
Labour councillor Euan Stainbank said that changes were “a necessary step to react to a national farce”.
He asked if it was likely that small electrical items and textiles would be put in general waste once the change came in.
Douglas Gardiner, head of environment and operations. said that was a risk but added that the quantity of these goods was very small – around 0.25 per cent of the council’s recycling – and it was not expected to have an impact.
The new contract, which will start in October 2024, will continue to deal with food waste and absorbent hygiene products as well as glass, as is currently the case.
Councillors were told that all of the council’s recycling points are currently being refurbished and this should be completed by January or February.
There will be a review to look at usage and see if some new sites can be created for recycling.
Former SNP councillor Laura Murtagh agreed it was a “national farce” but said the blame lay firmly with the UK government “in a flagrant disrespect of the devolution settlement”.
Councillor Bryan Deakin, portfolio holder for climate change, said: "We have seen the sad news that we cannot expect to see any form of DRS until 2025. Now, we can sit all day and point fingers about where the fault lies for the delay. However, myself, I believe looking at the local scope and not the national scope is where we need to be.
"While the discussion at national levels is ongoing we need to look at the amazing work being done to mitigate the changing situation for the national levels."
After the meeting Councillor Bundy said: “The amendment put forward by the Falkirk Conservatives earlier this year allowed Falkirk Council to change their plans today, and I am pleased that the decision the council came to was to maintain the black box kerbside pick up.”