Landmark investment in recycling

£13 million to improve recycling and cut emissions.

More than £13 million has been awarded to local authorities to increase the quantity and quality of recycling in Scotland.

Nine more local authorities have successfully bid for support from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund, bringing the total investment to date to £20 million.

The fund, which will total £70 million over five years, will deliver a step change in Scotland’s recycling performance and help local authorities get ready for future developments, including Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme.

The investment to date could reduce CO2 emissions by as much 21,400 tonnes each year — the equivalent of taking 11,400 cars off the road.

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said:

“This is one of the biggest investments in recycling in Scotland in a generation.

“By providing the support that’s needed to modernise local recycling infrastructure, we can help local authorities significantly improve their recycling performance.

“That won’t just make it easier for households to recycle more – it will also make an important contribution to meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate targets.

“I look forward to seeing these projects deliver for local communities and the environment, and to further innovative ideas from local authorities on how they can utilise this fund to improve recycling in their area.

“We also want to see materials remain in use for as long as possible before they are recycled. To help make that happen, we will also be introducing an ambitious Circular Economy Bill during this parliament.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“These awards represent a major new development in Scotland’s recycling story, with nine more impactful projects from across Scotland which make the most of our resources, boosting recycling and the circular economy. We’ve been impressed by the thinking from councils and look forward to even more transformational projects being brought forward next year.”

Councillor Steven Heddle, COSLA spokesperson for Environment and Economy said:

“Local Government in Scotland is fully committed to combatting climate change and supporting the Just Transition to a net zero society.

“A circular economy is an important part of this.  The Recycling Improvement Fund projects announced today demonstrate the range of work and level of innovation undertaken by Councils here.  We are keen to see the full fund supporting a wide range of projects in the next few years that make it easier for our citizens to recycle and reduce waste.” 


The first awards from the fund were announced on 17 November:

The projects that have received funding are summarised below.

Local authority

Project funded

Total awarded

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Expansion of collection services and an electric vehicle for collection


City of Edinburgh

Upgrades and expansion to recycling collection services which will see services improved for approximately 130,000 households


West Lothian

Services expanded to provide twin stream recycling services, supporting alignment with Scottish Household Recycling Charter’s Code of practice


Aberdeen City

Technological improvement to track communal bin collections, location and type.



‘In cab’ technological improvement for recycling fleet vehicles – these allow authorities to identify the most efficient routes and capture data to improve how they manage their service and communicate with residents.


North Ayrshire

‘In cab’ technological improvement for recycling fleet vehicles.



‘In cab’ technological improvement for recycling fleet vehicles.



‘In cab’ technological improvement for recycling fleet vehicles.



Enhanced ‘In cab’ technological improvements






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