Resource Use

Isle of Bute awarded Zero Waste Town status

Isle of Bute awarded Zero Waste Town status
Anne Shaw, Team Leader of the new kerbside recycling collection service as part of Zero Waste Bute, visits Niamh Glen (4) and her mum Amy on the first day of the new service
Scotland’s second Zero Waste Town was announced today, supported by a national waste reduction campaign led by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).

The Isle of Bute, located off the west coast of Scotland, has today (10 September) been named by ZWS as the country’s second Zero Waste Town, providing financial and practical backing to island-based sustainability company Fyne Futures.

The social enterprise, which promotes environmental sustainability and education in and around the area of Argyll and the Isle of Bute, will receive support worth £200,000 to implement the initiative locally through a series of projects over the next two years.

The Zero Waste Towns initiative works with residents and local businesses to reduce waste, recycle more and use resources such as waste electrical equipment efficiently. It has been hailed by Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, general manager of Fyne Features, as “a great way to bring the community together as we work to achieve a shared goal”.

Community-led initiatives

Coordinating the project, Fyne Futures will collaborate with ZWS, Argyll and Bute Council, local business and residents to sustain a ‘comprehensive’ approach to transforming attitudes to waste in the town.

Community-led initiatives will include:

  • the launch of an enhanced recycling collection trial in the Bush/Serpentine area, incorporating a larger range of plastics and textiles, will see recycling kits delivered to over 500 households, with the aim of increasing participation from 40 per cent to 90 per cent;
  • a pilot food waste collection service will be introduced for up to 50 households as well as training for food composting;
  • additional recycling facilities will be introduced;
  • a community engagement programme will be launched in order to raise awareness of the benefits of waste prevention, while increasing volunteers;
  • a programme aimed at local businesses will be launched to help them make necessary changes to prevent waste and increase resource efficiency;
  • a service will be set up for the collection and reuse of used and waste electrical equipment (UEEE and WEEE);
  • moves will be made to improve the quality and quantity of the recyclable collected goods, including biodegradable waste.

Zero Waste Towns

The Zero Waste Towns initiative started in 2013, when Scotland released an open call for interested communities. The Isle of Bute was selected for a pilot study, while Dunbar in East Lothian became Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town last year.

The two Scottish towns are part of a growing network of zero waste municipalities throughout Europe and across the world, including towns in Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Romania.

Communities play ‘crucial role’ in changing larger scale attitudes

Jayden Mitchell (3) and Lilly Kelly (4) prepare for the new kerbside recycling collection as part of the launch of Zero Waste Bute
Emphasising the importance of changing the attitude of residents when it comes to reducing waste on a large scale, Chief Executive of ZWS, Ian Gulland, said: “The Zero Waste Towns initiative recognises the crucial role that communities play in changing people’s behaviour to reduce and prevent waste.

“Both Zero Waste Scotland and our partners at the Scottish Government are committed to promoting community level action in as many towns in Scotland as possible in order to meet our target recycling rate of 70 per cent and reduce waste by 15 per cent in Scotland by 2025.

“As part of this intensive approach, our first priority on Bute will be to inspire, educate and empower communities with the knowledge and skills to prevent waste, increase resource efficiency and thus reduce landfill costs and create jobs. We will also look at the impact and outcomes of each project to help us make the most of similar future projects within other Scottish communities.”

ZWS support will enable Bute to pioneer initiatives in Scotland

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, added: “Becoming a member of the Zero Waste Towns initiative represents a crucial milestone for recycling and reuse on the Isle of Bute. Not only will it receive much deserved recognition among a network of similar, forward thinking zero waste towns and municipalities throughout Europe – the financial support will enable residents to deliver a range of initiatives that are firsts, anywhere in Scotland.

“I also look forward to seeing Bute residents supporting new services like the kerbside recycling collection service, for example, which will result in a considerable reduction in the volume – and therefore cost – of the waste produced on Bute from going to landfill.”

Fyne Future’s General Manager Reeni Kennedy-Boyle concluded: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to this project from a wide range of organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the community. We’re very excited that we’ll be receiving a range of brand new services and leading the way as one of the first zero waste islands, perhaps in the world.

“I wish everyone involved in this initiative the best of luck and I hope it will create valuable experiences that other communities around Scotland can benefit from as we strive to make Scotland a zero waste country.”

Read more about the Zero Waste Town project on the Isle of Bute.