Dip in recycling ‘due to weather and the economy’

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A drop in the recycling rate in the Borders means the region has missed out on a Scottish Government target of 50% recycling by this year.

Figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) show that of 52,861 tonnes of household waste created in the Borders in 2012, only 22,648 tonnes were recycled - a rate of 42.8% down from 46.3% for 2011.

SBC’s waste manager, Ross Sharp-Dent, believes there is a simple explanation.

“We believe the small decrease in the household waste recycling rate last year was the result of lower garden waste tonnages, related to the weather, and less recyclate items being collected at the kerbside, which could be linked to the economy.

“The Borders’ 2012 recycling rate of 42.8 per cent remains above the national average.

“The council is taking steps to improve its recycling performance, including signing of a long-term waste treatment contract for an energy recovery facility at Galashiels and introducing a food waste collection service in Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh, Peebles, Selkirk and Tweedbank.”

MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, John Lamont said: “The importance of hitting these targets cannot be underestimated. Every year we send tens of thousands of tonnes of waste to landfill sites, which is simply not sustainable.”