The Project completed its roll out in December 2016, having started in 8 months earlier in May 2016, to introduce the service to around 96% of households in West Lothian.
To date analysis has shown that the levels of diversion from Phases 1 to 5 have delivered levels of diversion, from the grey bin, in excess of 20%. This level would, when matched with the commensurate diversion into recycling streams, deliver a full year effect of increasing the recycling rate by around 9% in the 2017 calendar year. The diversion of this volume of material and the current market conditions with respect to disposal and processing costs will see the savings target of £238,000 met.
With respect to employment a total of 21 permanent posts have been created through the recruitment of an additional 4 Food Waste crews and the conversion of the Brown Bin service from a seasonal to an all year round service.
The service change has met with general acceptance by the public and has clearly had a positive impact with respect to disposal habits and engagement in the process of separating materials within the household. The uptake of food waste and blue bin recycling in households where participation was previously low or zero has been marked. Orders for new recycling containers have doubled across the council area, which represents and unprecedented level of uptake in comparison with the other authorities benchmarked.
This project marks a clear direction change in recycling and waste management where personal social responsibility is embedded into the planning and delivery of a service with clear and transparent links to the social, environmental and financial impacts of engagement. In delivering this project for the residents of West Lothian, the project team did just that, to the benefit of all.