Borders region’s recycling getting worse not better

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The amount of household waste recycled or composted in the Borders has fallen by five per cent since 2011, figures out this week show.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) statistics reveal that 41 per cent of the 51,000 tonnes of rubbish collected in the Borders in 2013 was recycled, down from over 46 per cent in 2011, when almost 54,000 tonnes of rubbish was collected.

The amount sent to landfill has increased, up almost three per cent on 2011. The figures for the region buck the national trend - over 42 per cent of household waste in Scotland was recycled last year, up from 40 per cent in 2011.

A spokesperson for SBC said: “SBC remains committed to encouraging everyone not only to recycle as much as possible, to divert waste from landfill, but also to reduce the amount of waste created and to increase reuse activity.

“Reduced recycling levels are disappointing, however, this is a trend that a third of local authorities have seen over the last few years, the reasons for which could be numerous.

“It should be noted that the total amount of household waste collected by SBC during 2013 reduced by 5% from 2011. The council plans to continue to engage with the public to encourage waste reduction and recycling.”

This year’s recycling figures are likely to reduce further after the council stopped its kerbside collection of garden waste.

Borders residents were urged to take their garden rubbish to one of the six recycling centres across the Borders but there have been numerous complaints about access to the skips at the recycling centres and many people have resorted to putting their garden waste in their general bins where it will go off to landfill.