Wasters – lazy folk put their rubbish in the wrong bins
Councillors Iain McLaren and Marie McNair plus rubbish and a lorry going into the lovely local hills to dump rubbish.
By Glen Douglas
Wasters. That’s the West Dunbartonshire residents who have sent the equivalent of 100 bin lorries of recyclable waste to landfill this year, after putting it into the wrong bin.
The recyclable materials were identified at Auchencarroch Recycling Material Facility in Alexandria, where the Council sends general waste to be screened and sorted before the remainder is sent to landfill.
The cost of sending waste to landfill is approximately 30% more than sending waste for recycling. If all waste was placed in the correct bin at source, the Council could make a saving of more than £200,000 per annum.
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, visited the Auchencarroch site along with Vice Convener Councillor Marie McNair.
During a tour of the facility, they learned about the journey West Dunbartonshire’s waste goes on as well as discovering the types of recyclable items being dumped regularly.
Recyclable items put into the landfill wheelie bins included plastic bottles, glass items, metals and cardboard.
Councillors, who were joined by members of Plastic Free WD community group, were shown one bay which housed three tonnes of plastic rescued for recycling – built up over just one week.
Councillor McLaren said: “It’s been a real eye opener to see the large amount of re-usable waste that would have ended up in landfill without the Council sending it to a facility like this.
“It’s unbelievable that so much money could be saved simply by communities disposing of their waste into the correct bin.
“The money saved could be used by the Council to invest in other services.”
Councillor McNair, pictured right, added: “While 49% of our household waste is recycled by residents, we are ambitious and want to increase that number. We can only do that with residents help and encourage everyone to think before they bin.
“It was so sad to see the amount of plastic that ended up at Auchencarroch from landfill bins.
“Recycling not only has huge environmental benefits, but the cost implications of not recycling are massive and this money could be used to fund other services like Greenspace or Education.”
In 2017/18, 22,700 tonnes of residual waste was collected throughout West Dunbartonshire and sent to landfill.
The landfill site and recycling facility at Auchencarroch is run by Barr Environmental.
Gavin Money, Commercial Director at the firm, said: “The Recycling and Resource Management Facility in Auchencarroch has been operated by Barr Environmental for over 22 years and today employs 20 people from the area as it supports West Dunbartonshire Council recover and recycle resource from waste. Several million pounds of investment has been made by Barr in recent years to help local authorities achieve recycling targets and minimise the volume of waste sent to landfill.”