South Ayrshire Council reports it is now recycling one third of all its litter dropped in community parks thanks to new recycle-on-the-go bins funded by the Scottish Government's Recycling Improvement Fund.
The project demonstrates how a simple adaptation can change behaviour and increase recycling. It also provides more evidence for all local authorities of the importance of consistency, around infrastructure and communications, in encouraging recycling behaviours.
South Ayrshire Council was awarded £90,000 from the fund to introduce new recycle-on-the-go bins that match the colour of bin and type of materials collected which householders use in their kerbside service. The new bins encourage householders to expand their home recycling habits to when they’re out and about.
A bin with a blue slot is designed to collect plastics, metals and cartons while the grey slot bin is used for paper and cardboard, alongside a general waste litter bin. The slots are designed to reduce the wrong items being put in the wrong bin.
It has been piloted in six community parks within main towns of South Ayrshire and will be expanded further in a phased approach.
By separating recyclables from litter, South Ayrshire has been able to significantly increase recycling of littered items in these areas since introducing the innovative scheme – previously, all litter was sent to landfill.
Between June and September 2022, the council reports a substantial increase in previously littered items collected for recycling. The look of the parks has also been improved through the new bins. The investment from the Recycling Improvement Fund has helped improve South Ayrshire’s recycling system and progress it towards Scotland’s ambitious recycling targets.