Midlothian residents praised for recycling rates

Midlothian residents’ efforts to recycle increasing amounts of household waste have been commended following a recent study by Edinburgh University.

Saving energy

The study assessed the applications and carbon savings from Midlothian residents recycling their waste. The energy saved each year by Midlothian households recycling their waste was found to be equivalent to powering the energy for over 7,000 homes or recharging 5 billion smart phones.

Main findings of study:

  • 94% of recyclates collected by the council are successfully recycled. The remainder are unwashed tins and takeaway cartons placed in the blue bin or items that cannot be recycled using their service such as soft and hard plastics.
  • Over 15 companies make use of the Midlothian recycled waste. Examples include using recycled glass in special filters for waste water industry, for aquaria and aquatic life support systems in Scotland and worldwide.
  • Significant energy and carbon savings were made by collecting waste for recycling

Embodied carbon

The study was led by Professor Sean Smith through the Data Platforms research programme. He said:

“Every yoghurt carton, newspaper, cardboard, metal and glass bottle has a carbon and energy value. Recycling these waste products collectively leads to a large amount of ‘embodied carbon’ being reused into different industries and processes.”

Keep up the good work

Cllr John Hackett, cabinet member for waste services said: “Congratulations to Midlothian residents. This study shows the levels of carbon savings that can be made by recycling household materials and highlights to the public how simple steps taken to separate materials for recycling can make a big carbon impact. I encourage Midlothian residents to keep up the good work and keep recycling. Just a reminder that we all need to think about quality of recycled waste not just quantity. Let’s remember to empty and clean pots, tubs and cans where necessary. This will ensure items collected can be recycled so the carbon and energy savings will be even higher.”

Recycle it Right

Information on how to “Recycle it Right” is available on the council website. This will help ensure you are recycling effectively so we can increase our 94% rate even higher. www.midlothian.gov.uk/blue-bin

Soft plastics

Many local retailers are now offering a separate in-store collection of soft plastics that cannot be recycled in your blue bin. Use these services to recycle bread bags, crisp packets, biscuit and sweet wrappers and bags used to hold cereal, rice, pasta or dried fruit.

Festive period collections

Please note that there are no changes to kerbside collections of waste/recycling over the festive period. Collections continue on the Public Holidays: 27, 28 December and 3, 4 January. Please put out your bins for 7am. 

More information

If you have any queries about recycling in Midlothian, please email: recycling@midlothian.gov.uk

7 Dec 2021