A VISION to recycle more waste and send less to landfill has been agreed by Dumfries and Galloway councillors.
The council recently took waste services back in house.
It now intends to implement a kerbside recycling service for the first time.
At a meeting of the economy, environment and infrastructure committee members agreed the strategy for the waste collection and disposal service.
The proposals will need significant capital investment and this aspect will be referred to the policy and resources committee.
The report to members said the proposal’s affordability, including confirmation of the level of Scottish government funding, would also be made clear before the policy and resources committee met.
The objective is to reduce the council’s impact on the environment and fight climate change.
A key obligation in the council’s plan sets out the commitment to recycling by investing in key infrastructure, namely, a roll-out of a household recycling scheme.
Materials such as plastic, glass, metal, paper and card will be captured for closed-loop recycling, reducing the volumes of recyclates going to energy recovery or landfill.
The option agreed by members at the May meeting offers a service which is simple to deliver and to understand.
It will be flexible to deal with known changes, like a deposit return scheme, and unknown changes in the waste and recycling industry in the next few years.
Residual (black bag) waste will be collected fortnightly using existing wheelie bins or orange bags.
Paper and card will be collected monthly as will metals (cans) and plastics. Glass will be deposited at community sites.
This means the black bag waste will be collected on weeks one and three, alternating with the collection of paper and card (week two) and metals and plastics (week four).
Food waste will be collected weekly in Dumfries, Stranraer, Dalbeattie, Annan, Lockerbie and Gretna.
This service avoids costs of £800,000, which would be incurred by collecting from every household, but covers 48 per cent of homes.
The volume of glass is likely to reduce once the Scottish government’s deposit return scheme is implemented.
It is thought that about 90 per cent of the glass currently collected as a recyclate will be eligible for the deposit scheme.
The scheme is estimated to achieve collection rates of 95 per cent so the volume of glass remaining for local authorities to collect will fall to levels where kerbside collection is unviable.
The residual (black bag) waste will continue to go to the Ecodeco plant in Dumfries for drying, shredding and refining, generally into a fuel suitable for use in energy from waste plants.
Dry recyclates will go to a new plant to be built at the Dumfries Zero Waste Park for sorting and bulking before onward sale or disposal.
The report said: “The roll-out of kerbside collection of dry recyclates needs consideration of how collected waste, including dry recyclates, is processed. The current method of waste disposal depends in part on where you live.
“Wigtown has a collection for dry recyclates and food waste very similar to that proposed.
All dry recyclates, along with any collected at community bring-sites and waste recycling centres are processed at the Stranraer Zero Waste Park.
“Markets are sought for all these waste streams and, while these fluctuate, the waste collected makes a small income.
Beyond the clear environmental benefits of recycling, the main benefit in terms of cost is avoiding landfill charges.”