Resource Use

Dunbar becomes Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town

(L-R): Brian Grindley, Chair of Sustaining Dunbar; Richard Lochhead, Scotland's Environment Secretary; and Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland.

Scotland’s Environment Minister Richard Lochhead has announced that the Scottish town of Dunbar has become the country’s first official ‘Zero Waste Town’.

The accolade has been attributed to the East Lothian town following on from a Zero Waste Scotland pilot project in which five Scottish communities were awarded funding to investigate how ‘higher recycling rates’ and ‘greater local resource efficiency’ can help to achieve zero waste by 2020.

Dunbar has now been selected as the chosen community to take its waste reduction projects forward in 2014/15.

As a Zero Waste Town, Dunbar will introduce a number of community-led initiatives, including

  • opening a facility to help make re-using goods easier;
  • driving local engagement to help households waste less food and use food waste recycling collections;
  • implementing educational programmes with local schools; and
  • launching initiatives to reduce litter such as on-street ‘Recycle on the go’ bins that ‘fit in with the towns historic landscapes’.

The project will be coordinated by local community group Sustaining Dunbar, which will work closely with Zero Waste Scotland, East Lothian Council, local groups, businesses and residents to coordinate a ‘comprehensive approach to transforming attitudes to waste in the town’. 

‘Leading the way in eliminating waste’

Speaking of the award, Lochhead said: “It’s fantastic that Dunbar has set an example and become Scotland’s first ever Zero Waste Town, demonstrating the community’s firm commitment to making real progress in resource management at a local level.

“This innovative programme will help the town recycle more, send less to landfill and use our precious resources more efficiently. 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.”

Brian Grindley, Chair of Sustaining Dunbar, said: “Sustaining Dunbar are delighted that Dunbar has been chosen to be Scotland's first Zero Waste Town. We have already spoken to a wide range of organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the community and received a hugely positive response to this project.

"We look forward to working together to lead the way in eliminating waste.”

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, added that he hoped Dunbar will “provide great examples of best practice which we can recreate in other towns across Scotland.”

Read more about the Zero Waste Town project.