Scottish local authorities have made significant progress in increasing recycling rates, and achieving the 25% by 2006 target. However one important factor to achieve 40% and beyond, will be the need to improve the recovery rates from kerbside recycling collections. The average recovery rate in Scotland is 2.08kg/hh/wk while in England and Wales the figure is 50% higher at 3.21kg/hh/wk. In Autumn 2006 Remade Scotland surveyed all 32 Scottish local authorities to gather data on kerbside recycling, with 29 full sets of data being gathered, the information covering the financial years 2004/5 and 2005/6. The survey found that a total of 336,488 tonnes of recyclate was collected at the kerbside in 2005/6 from a combination of dry recyclate and garden waste collection schemes.
The factors influencing high recovery rates for dry recyclate collections were found to be collection frequency, collection capacity, number of materials collected, and collection frequency of residual wasteAdditional factors likely to improve recycling rates are the introduction of food waste collection and educational/promotional campaigns to increase participation and capture rates.
Weekly collection of dry recyclate demonstrated 64% higher recovery rates than fortnightly collections, and 96% greater than collections every 4 weeks
A collection capacity of >101 litres/week produced recovery rates 56% higher than those with 51-100 litres/wk and 115% higher than those under 50 litres/wk
Schemes collecting 4 or more materials showed recovery rates 137% greater than those with only one material
Dry recyclate schemes operated in conjunction with a fortnightly residual waste collection produced 65% higher recovery rates than those associated with a weekly residual collection
Additional factors likely to improve recycling rates are the introduction of food waste collection and educational/promotional campaigns to increase participation and capture rates