SB Connect Winter 2016

Going greener by the year

Each year, the Scottish Borders takes another step towards being a greener place.

In the past year, the most important step was the introduction of Alternate Weekly Collections (AWCs).

Fortnightly collections mean everyone has to look carefully at how they deal with waste and recycling.

The Council’s guidance was updated in 2010 to meet current health and safety needs, covering the welfare of both collection crews, householders and the general public.

The cut-out-and-keep guide to recycling (on page 4) shows you the best way to deal with all the different elements of your waste.

Garden waste collections have proved extremely popular but, on occasion, the bins can be so heavy that they pose a risk to crews. No wood, turf, sods of earth or stones should be put into the green-lidded wheeled bins.

Residents in the Scottish Borders have shown that the recycling services work for them, with the annual recycling rate hitting the key 40 per cent mark in 2010.

Julie Rankine, the Council’s Waste Strategy Manager, said: “This was the target for all councils in Scotland and Scottish Borders was one of the ones that achieved it.

“The continued recycling efforts of Borderers is greatly appreciated and we thank everyone for supporting our services so enthusiastically.

“By collecting waste one week and recycling the other, we are moving further away from our traditional reliance on landfill and making recycling an attractive alternative.

“Each tonne of waste the Council sends to landfill is taxed – and that tax is rising punitively each year, so it’s a very good reason for us to make sure we send as little waste to landfill as we can.”

The Council’s waste strategy is supported by partnerships in the community which encourage zero waste activities – the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

It is not just “what” you throw out that you need to think about, Julie points out. “The process starts when you are in the shops: you need to think about how the things you buy are packaged and how you will use all the food you choose.

“When you come to throw something out, you should also ask if it still has life in it. Can it be used by someone else? Can you donate it to a charity shop or reuse project?

“Borderers have already proved that by taking lots of small steps, we can make real progress towards making our beautiful home a greener place.

“We have to take a careful look at our lives and see what else we can do differently to increase how much we reduce, reuse and recycle and, at the same time, throw out much less waste.”