Get waste sorted

Scottish councils sign up to voluntary recycling charter.

Households across Scotland will find it easier to recycle– thanks to local councils around the country committing to the Scottish Household Recycling Charter.

With half of our 32 councils now signed up, Scotland has taken a significant step toward having one consistent recycling system. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is praising the 16 local authorities who have already signed up to the system, which is designed to simplify recycling across the country, making it easier for people to sort waste and improve the quality of the recycling.

The Household Recycling Charter was the key recommendation from the Zero Waste Taskforce, a joint initiative between Scottish Ministers and COSLA.

Ms Cunningham said:

“The Scottish Household Recycling Charter is one of the key elements at the heart of Scotland’s first circular economy strategy Making Things Last, which we published in February this year. We want Scotland to make the most of its resources, and as more councils make this commitment, we should see Scottish householders recycling more, while producing a better quality of recyclate for reprocessing.

“The consistent approach to recycling can deliver genuine efficiencies and cost savings to both individual councils and to local government as a whole. I’m hugely encouraged by the progress that’s been made since Falkirk Council became the first to sign the Charter in February; now we have 16 local authorities – half of all Scottish councils.

“The success so far is down to partnership working and I applaud the effort put in by COSLA and Inverclyde Council in particular, who’ve shown fantastic leadership. We’ve already made great progress since the Charter was launched in December, but we can do more and I heartily encourage other Scottish councils to sign up and help us take this next step towards a circular economy in Scotland.”

Stephen Hagan, COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, said:

“Councils are firmly committed to creating opportunities for job creation and economic development across our communities and we see this consistent approach to recycling services as being fundamental to the circular economy approach that can help to unlock the value inherent within our so-called “waste” streams. I look forward to working with the Scottish Government to fully implement the Charter and to realising its full potential.

Notes to editors

Recycling Charter

  • The Household Recycling Charter sets out a number of key principles: a common approach to the design of services, operation of services, communication with residents, and common policies on issues such as contamination
  • The Charter is supported by a Code of Practice, which was developed in collaboration with local authorities, and published on 9 December 2015.
  • The Code of Practice specifically sets out a single 3-stream system for recycling (in addition to food waste and residual waste):

- Paper and card mixed in one receptacle

- Plastics and metals mixed in one receptacle

- Glass in a separate receptacle.

  • Local Authorities who sign the Charter are able to access funding from Zero Waste Scotland to help with the rollout of new services,

16 Local Authorities have now signed up to the Recycling Charter:

  • Clackmannanshire
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dundee City
  • East Ayrshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Eilean Siar (Western Isles)
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Inverclyde
  • Midlothian
  • North Ayrshire
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Renfrewshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • Scottish Borders

Making Things Last

The Scottish Government’s first circular economy strategy, “Making Things Last” sets out the priorities for moving towards a more circular economy where products and materials are kept in high value use for as long as possible. It builds on Scotland’s progress in the zero waste and resource efficiency agendas. A more circular economy will benefit:

  • the environment – cutting waste and carbon emissions and reducing reliance on scarce resources;
  • the economy – improving productivity, opening up new markets and improving resilience; and
  • communities – more, lower cost options to access the goods we need with opportunities for social enterprise.

The Circular Economy Strategy can be read here:


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