Fines ruled out for those who fail to recycle
FIFE COUNCIL have ruled out punishing people who don't recycle.
More councils in England are choosing to fine householders if they don't separate their waste for recycling but Fife's 'green' chief says enforcement won't work here.
It's also unlikely that a FIFTH bin for collecting glass will be introduced in West Fife.
Although a four-bin system is being wheeled out across the whole of Fife, Chris Ewing questioned the wisdom of adding more or penalising people who don't take part.
The council's environmental sustainability manager added, "Once you start threatening people with a big stick or form of penalties you lose them and any potential for goodwill.
"By encouraging people to recycle you achieve far more than you do by threatening them.
"For me there are two things we have to provide: the tools to enable people to recycle in the way we want them to and to make people aware of what we're doing, why we're doing it, what their role is and the consequences for Fife Council if they don't.
"We've been, in the main, successful at that and people do seem to be onside."
The council is bringing in a fourth bin after trialling different versions of a four-bin system in different areas of Fife, including Low Valleyfield and Culross.
And while the West Fife pilot was a success - the amount of rubbish recycled climbed by 10 per cent - Mr Ewing said, "The show-stopper was the version we tested in Markinch that was, and still is, achieving 65 per cent.
"That astonished us as it was well beyond our expectations and that's the service getting rolled out Fife-wide just now."
The new system will mean:
The smaller blue bin used for landfill waste.
The larger grey bin used for paper and card.
The brown bin used to collect food and garden waste.
A new green bin will be used for cans and plastics.
Waste collected in the brown bin will be turned into renewable energy at a new £15.5 million anaerobic digestion facility at Lochhead, near Wellwood.
The blue and brown bins would be collected fortnightly and the grey and green bins collected every four weeks. That change may be hard enough to get used to and additional bins seem unlikely.
Mr Ewing said, "I don't know about a fifth bin, I'm not sure we'd want to go that way, but we do have to look at how to stop more going to landfill - like glass, textiles and small electrical equipment.
"One of the driving forces, apart from the financial benefits, are new regulations that the Scottish Government are expected to bring in this Autumn.
"These regulations will require councils to collect a wider range of recyclables from kerbsides, including glass and textiles, and we have to look at how to do that at a reasonable cost and without any undue inconvenience to householders."
The council's recycling performance in the four-bin trial was recently praised by Scottish Government minister Richard Lochhead but Dunfermline is not due to get the extra bin until Spring 2013, followed by 15,000 households in Kelty in autumn 2013 and 23,000 households in south west Fife in Spring 2014.
Mr Ewing said, "I wish we could but it would mean major change to the collection rounds and buying around 150,000 green bins so we can't change it overnight.
"Fife is actually the 11th biggest council area in the UK and for us a manageable number is to do around 20,000 homes at a time.
"So with two roll-outs a year, Spring and Autumn, it'll take around three-and-a-half years to complete.
"If we rush it you increase the potential for mistakes or not getting our message across properly."
And he concluded, "The more we recover, from all the waste streams that go to landfill, the greater financial benefit to the council and the more money we can save.
"In that way there will be less pressure on other budgets at a time when money is very tight to say the least and we'll save money in landfill tax."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jul 8, 09:39
Jul 8, 11:11
Jul 8, 14:38
We were part of the trial and I have to say it works extremely well. So well infact that the reduction in grey bin waste for us was about 70%. So great so was the reduction that I requested the small size grey bin in replacement for the large size. I should add that we are a family of five and even the small one is not full at the end of the fortnight. It really helps that the children are better educated in reduce, reuse and recycle than adults, thanks to many schools striving for Eco school status.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 2
Jul 8, 16:12
Jul 9, 13:54
Why not fine the lazy gits that don't recycle,if fife council do not reach landfill targets they will be fined,of which they have stated this will be added to our community tax, Their is always the exceptions to peoples abilities to recycle but their is no excuse for the vast majority of Fife people to recycle.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 2
Jul 9, 21:37
another step forward for the council, again they are doing less and asking us for more. if we keep going down this road we will end up doing it all ourselves, the next thing they will be asking us to sweep the streets and use our own salt and snow shovels on the roads in winter. i wonder how many dustmen will loose their jobs over this, this is the thin edge of the wedge , you have been warned. currently i have to do a rubbish run evey second week and i recycle and seperate all glass plastics and cans and paper/cardboard, i will end up having to do the rubbish run every week now, so much for the environment !
Recommend? Yes 3 No 4
Jul 9, 22:02
hi folks , my last comment was an emotional rant, apologies, but notice the satement made by the manager contained the following - " For me there are two things we have to provide: the tools to enable people to recycle in the way we want them to and to make people aware of what we're doing " Well how about this idea providing the tools to enable us to recycle in the way we want to by asking us what we want first
Recommend? Yes 3 No 3
Jul 10, 18:03
Jul 10, 21:43
I have to agree with Fife Council ruling out punishing people who refuse to recycle. Lets be honest here, the only thing forcing financial penalties on non conformists will achieve is an increase in fly tipping which will inevitably lead to an increase in tax for everyone!
I think they've taken the sensible approach (for once) and adopted an educated stance on this particular subject, however you have to draw the line somewhere and exactly how many bins are Mr/Mrs Average expected to home in their garden?
Recommend? Yes 1 No 1
Ma Bins Laden
Jul 11, 23:26
The only good thing about this is they are going to provide a bin for recycling plastic and tins, which we are doing ourselves right now anyway (and glass too). However I honestly don't think we will fit all our non recyclable stuff into a wee bin that gets emptied once a fortnight. We managed to get an extra black bin because we had 2 young children, when that was taken away we have struggled ever since and that is recycling everything that we can. Having said that I know people in Glenrothes who seem to manage with this system OK, it all depends on the size of the household I suppose.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 2
Jul 12, 01:09
This Glenrothes household has 3 adults; 1 pre teen; a dog and a cat.
Our blue bin is often only 3/4 full on collection day. The paper/cardboard bin is full as I speak and the plastic/metal one is 1/2 full. This is an indication of the amount of supermarket packaging we are subjected to!
Just wish they would also collect glass.......
The four bins do work if YOU work at it.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1
Jul 13, 15:17
Is it not about time that the 'scaffies' actually started to earn their money once again. In the past they would run round the back, lift the metal bin, empty it , then replace it. We paid much less - sorry much less was extorted - from us then, and it was a service!
The honest citizens deserve better. Now we only have jobsworths who seem to forget who actually finance their over inflated ego's
Recommend? Yes 2 No 3
Jake E Bassa
Jul 20, 17:11
Yer bang oan davey boy, i hink it aw started tae rang when they stoaped the bairns gaun doon the pits. An they coonsil guisers are jist a shower o lazy ****'s, it's ma income support that peys thur wages tae. I sayed that ta wan o thum that wiz fixing ma windae, thut got broke bi mistake when a thru an empty boatle it it. onyway ah'm lying in ma pit, when wan oh the lazy chancers chap ma door tae fix it, ah wiz raging gitting wakened up at 2 in thu efternin, i kin tell ye.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0