Recycling rates in South Ayrshire parks rise

Recycling rates in South Ayrshire parks have risen by 36.8 per cent following the installation of 400 new Leafield Environmental bins in June 2022.

RecyclingSouth Ayrshire Council invested in the new recycling infrastructure after receiving a £90,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF) in 2022.

The RIF was launched in 2021 to help local authorities like South Ayrshire Council invest in new recycling infrastructure to increase both the quantity and quality of recycling and support Scotland’s ambitious waste and recycling targets and net zero commitments.

Councillor Martin Kilbride, Buildings, Housing and Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire council, said: “We applied for the RIF as we recognised the potential to increase recycling rates in parks that were only collecting litter, dog fouling and recyclable waste together, which couldn’t be recycled due to contamination.

“We wanted to demonstrate that by improving the recycling infrastructure in selected parks, we could collect more recyclable waste separately, reducing a significant amount going to landfill. We were delighted to receive the five-year grant funding to purchase over 400 new recycling bins.”

Leafield Environmental was selected by South Ayrshire Council to design and manufacture the 400 new recycling bins to be used in six of the council’s parks: Belleisle, Corsehill Park, Fullarton Woods, Troon, Newton Park, Rozelle in Ayr and Victory Park in Girvan.

Following collaboration between the council, Friends of the Park groups and the local community, the recycling bins were installed across the parks in June 2022.

Steve Parker, Business Development Leader at Leafield Environmental, commented: “We were delighted to win the tender to work in partnership with South Ayrshire Council on their new recycling on-the-go schemes in parks.

“Our Maxi Recycling Bins met their specification because our black units are made from up to 100 per cent recycled plastic and the specifically shaped apertures and corresponding labels help clearly identify the waste streams in question.

“The Council also likes the future-proofing aspect of our bins, whereby instead of purchasing a brand-new bin, apertures and labels can be easily changed to identify a different waste stream, should the need arise.”

Recycling points were formed across South Ayrshire parks using a grouping of three of Leafield Environmental’s Maxi recycling bins. One collected litter and dog waste, one collected metal, plastics and cartons, whilst the third bin collected cardboard, card and paper.

Leafield ensured that the colours used for the labelling of the recycling bins matched those used in South Ayrshire households, ensuring ease of identification on where each item should be recycled.

Paul Dougall, Coordinator of Neighborhood Services at South Ayrshire Council, praised Leafield’s recycling bins: “We selected Leafield Environmental because we liked the flexibility of changing the recycling labels and aperture colours to collect different waste streams in line with our household bin collections.

“We also liked that the bins featured a tilted sack retention frame so we could easily see any contaminated waste through the transparent bin bags, rather than having a steel or plastic liner inside the bin. The keyless locking system also eased the emptying process during the rollout phase when analysis was taking place.”

RecyclingRecycling rates increase in South Ayrshire parks

South Ayrshire Council collaborated closely with Zero Waste Scotland to provide waste analysis during the first fortnight following the installation of Leafield’s recycling bins.

The process entailed the Council’s refuse teams documenting data sheets that specified the accurate type of waste collected in each bin, along with any contamination present. During the emptying of the recycling bins, each waste stream’s weight was measured with a weekly percentage calculated correspondingly.

Paul Dougall added: “During the first 14 weeks, 36.8 per cent total volume of waste collected has been recycled, which is an excellent start considering we didn’t collect any recyclable waste in these parks previously.

“Our refuse teams have done an incredible job, tracking the data to provide Zero Waste Scotland with our analysis to support our grant funding for this recycling on-the-go project. Some parks are performing better than others, so we are now focusing on what we can learn and implement across all parks to increase participation and avoid contamination.

“Initial and ongoing feedback from local residents has been positive, with no overflowing issues and the desire to keep their parks litter free. Our initial analysis shows we are increasing the quantity and quality of recycling in these parks by implementing the new recycling bins and we continue to measure its success.”

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