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Bins, recycling and rubbish

How is a three weekly collection enough for an average family?

Where is the evidence that a three weekly collection will be sufficient for the waste produced by average family?

Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government have done research based on waste data collected from areas across Scotland including East Renfrewshire. Their findings have concluded that 80 litres of waste a week, 240 litres being collected over three weeks, is sufficient if residents are maximising the opportunity the recycle.

This is based on their extensive review of waste composition data (what's actually in people's bins) from across Scottish local authorities and represents a level that should be adequate for the average household when a full suite of recycling capacity is available and being used. Reducing residual waste capacity to this level is included the Code of Practice as a 'desirable' step for councils to take once they have introduced a full suite of recycling services which East Renfrewshire provides. 

We are not the first council to implement a very similar three-weekly collection service. A number of Scottish councils have implemented similar collection systems with success including Falkirk and East Ayrshire. Indications from Falkirk are that the scheme has been successful in increasing recycling with a small number of complaints regarding capacity for residual waste.

Due to the new national guidance it is likely that a significant number of councils will follow suit. 

The Scottish Government and CoSLA have agreed a Household Recycling Charter that aims to bring more consistency to recycling services. For more information please go to:

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