Council bin lorries are helping to drive home the message that more needs to be done to increase the amount of food waste that goes for recycling in Moray.
Waste and recycling vehicles have been fitted with side panels urging households to be aware of the financial and environmental costs of food waste going to landfill.
Moray has the second best recycling record among Scotland’s 32 local authorities – except when it comes to recycling food waste.
It is estimated around 5000 tonnes of food waste finds its way to the Dallachy landfill site every year when it could – and should – have gone for recycling. That alone costs council taxpayers in Moray around £400,000 in landfill tax.
Fitting the panels to the council’s waste collection vehicles has been completed ahead of the festive period when there is traditionally a spike in the amount of food waste being generated by households.
Food waste should be deposited in the brown recycling bin along with garden waste.
But checks carried out by Moray Council’s waste management team regularly find that food waste is being put in the green bin – the contents of which go to landfill.
Councillor John Cowe, chairman of the council’s economic development and infrastructure services committee whose remit includes waste management, appealed for households to co-operate in improving Moray’s recycling rate even further.
“Last year Moray residents helped us achieve a very impressive overall recycling rate of 57.4% and that rose to more than 61% in the first six months of this year,” said Councillor Cowe.
“But around 34% of the contents of an average green bin is food waste which is very disappointing and is costing the council a fortune in landfill tax to the Scottish Government.
“The vast majority of homes in Moray are provided with a brown bin and that is where food waste should go so that it can be recycled.”
Councillor Cowe added: “With the festive period coming up, I would urge everyone to make a New Year resolution to dispose of their food waste by putting it in the proper bin.”
Food waste, along with garden waste, is sent to a recycling facility in Aberdeenshire where it is turned into an organic fertiliser, 70% of which is used by north-east farmers. The remainder is used in horticulture.
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.