The Highland Council would like to reassure householders and business waste customers in the Lochaber area that the recyclable material collected in their blue bins is recycled.
The Council is aware that misleading and incorrect information about what happens to the contents of the blue bins once it has been collected, has recently been circulated in the area.
The materials collected from the kerbside are weighed and bulked up at Locheil Logistics’ facility in Duisky, near Fort William, who then transport the material to Biffa’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Broxburn, Edinburgh.
At the MRF, the mixed recyclable materials are sorted into individual material streams e.g., plastics, metals, cardboard, and paper using a combination of automated optical sorting technology, magnets and manual sorting.
The sorted materials are then baled and sent either for further sorting or straight for remanufacture.
For example, once plastic packaging has been sorted into its different types it is turned into flake ready to be reformed into new plastic containers or bottles.
Similarly sorted paper or cardboard is turned into pulp and remade into new paper or packaging products.
Last year, around 1,400 tonnes of blue bin recycling were sent for reprocessing from householders and business waste customers in Lochaber by the Council.
In total, 15,700 tonnes of blue bin materials were sent for recycling across the Highland region in 2022.
Chair of Communities and Place Committee, Councillor Graham Mackenzie said:
“We appreciate that it can sometimes be confusing for the public to know exactly what happens to their recycling, but I would personally like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that recyclable material collected in the blue bins is being recycled into new products.”
“There are strict environmental regulations, set out by Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) that Councils and waste management companies must adhere to, which ensure that the recycling collected can ultimately be put to its intended use – helping to protect the environment, not harm it.”
Paper, card, metal tins and cans along with plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays can all be recycled in the blue bins.
All items must be clean and free from food residues as this can spoil the paper and card.
For a full list of what goes in your blue bin, please visit: www.highland.gov.uk/recycle
The Highland Council currently collects and disposes of around 125,000 tonnes of waste produced by households and business waste customers each year, with around 7,900 tonnes being deposited into the Lochiel Logistics Duisky landfill site in Lochaber.
At present approximately 35% of the total waste generated by householders and businesses in the Highland region is recycled.