New grey recycling bin to be introduced in Glasgow: Here’s everything you need to know

The bins will change the way Glaswegians recycle and are set to be delivered to different areas incrementally over the next year
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New recycling bins are set to be delivered to households in Glasgow this summer, as part of a drive to stop people putting their recycling in the wrong containers.

It was revealed that households failing to properly separate their recycling into the correct bins was costing the council an estimated £3 million a year.

And it is hoped a new system of two recycling bins will make it easier for people to dispose of their rubbish properly.

Households in Glasgow typically have a green bin for general waste and a blue bin for some recycling, as well as a brown food and garden waste bin and a purple glass bottle and jar bin, while those in flats have access to green and blue bins and have a grey food waste bin.

The extra grey recycling bin will allow residents to separate their cardboard waste from their yoghurt pots and tin cans, and councillors hope it will encourage more people to recycle more responsibly.

When will the new recycling bin in Glasgow arrive?

The delivery of the extra bin will begin this summer and will take roughly 9-12 months to complete, after the local authority approved plans to adopt a new contamination policy at the city administration committee on Thursday.

Why is there a new recycling bin being introduced in Glasgow?

Councillors heard that the contamination of recycling bins means it costs more for the council to dispose of waste, and created a barrier to improving recycling performance – all of which has been shown to leave residents less inclined to recycle properly.

At the meeting SNP councillor Ruairi Kelly said: “In 2019 we signed up to the charter of household recycling and the supporting code of practices.

“To meet the agreed targets within, we are required to review a number of our policies, customs and practices. The code of practice provides guidance on excess and side waste, bulk and contamination, additional capacity and policy implementation.

“Many of the changes needed are already council policy having been agreed in 2012 but not yet fully implemented operationally.

“The contamination policy will mainly deal with the contamination of recycling bins. The failure to properly segregate waste in the city costs us approximately £3 million per year through lost revenue and increased landfill fees.

“Our overwhelming priority will be to educate and support residents to use their bins correctly, making our staff jobs easier and helping us deliver a better service.

“Training is already underway for our staff and feedback so far from drivers has been positive with the benefits of the system being welcomed in terms of recording information and real time updates are available to management.

“This will initially impact front and back door properties and options appraisal is currently underway for flatted properties. This will be reported on at a later date.”

Nottingham City Council wants the public's opinions on a proposed new waste and recycling strategy. Photo: Getty ImagesNottingham City Council wants the public's opinions on a proposed new waste and recycling strategy. Photo: Getty Images
Nottingham City Council wants the public's opinions on a proposed new waste and recycling strategy. Photo: Getty Images

Earlier this year the council teamed up with Zero Waste Scotland to analyse the green general waste bin and blue recycling bins at selected kerbside properties and flats.

Results from the blue bin analysis highlighted a significant proportion of the materials were “non-target materials” which included material that, although recyclable, should not be collected within the blue bin – for example glass bottles, plastic pots/tubs/trays, food waste, and textiles.

Other contamination included electrical items and healthcare waste, confirming the requirement to review and adopt a new contamination policy.

What will the new recycling bin in Glasgow be used for?

New recycling bins will allow residents to separate their waste into a fibre bin for mixed paper, card and cardboard and a container bin to collect plastic bottles/pots/tubs/trays/films, cartons and metal food and drink containers.

After the meeting councillor Kelly said: “This policy allows us to collect more materials like yoghurt pots and film lids that previously we haven’t particularly been looking to collect. It will enable people to recycle more material they get from the shops.

“There will be two recycling bins in total – one for paper and cardboard and the other for plastics, yoghurt pots and tin cans so we can separate those two out before they are collected which will allow us to have fewer contaminated recycling bins.”

It is hoped that implementation of the contamination policy will help save £3 million and encourage more residents to use their recycling bins properly allowing the local authority to invest the money in council services.

A report is expected to be brought back to committee at a later date.