Innovation Exchange

Introduction of in-house recycling to council buildings


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


The aim of the project was to update recycling facilities in those Council buildings that already had services and to introduce facilities to buildings that had none so that all staff would be able to separate and recycle their waste.

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  • To carry out consultation between Waste Services staff (WS), Facilities Management Area Services Mangers (FMASM) and Lead Building Users (LBU) when addressing each building so that the infrastructure provided was suitable for both the users and for the FM staff.
  • To introduce/update the facilities following a standard approach:


  1. Communication from the Chief Executive to all Council staff explaining the need for increased recycling
  2. Meeting between WS, FMASM and LBU to discuss the requirement for that particular building
  3. Place display banners in building (where possible) to highlight the forthcoming changes
  4. Introduce changes
  5. Monitor the building and return to make any necessary changes


  • To ensure consistency within all buildings, in terms of the containers used and the instructions given to all staff.
  • To provide services that enable staff in each building to meet current legislative requirements to separate recyclable materials for collection.
  • To improve recycling performance across council offices and schools

Whilst the project is still ongoing, so far 195 council buildings have received the new facilities including the Civic Centre, Whitehill House, schools (both primary and secondary), offices, community centres libraries and partnership buildings.


Each building with the new facilities is now able to separate recyclables (plastic, paper, cardboard, cans, plastics, and food waste) from refuse.


This means that each building is meeting its statutory duty under The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012.


Due to the standardisation of the containers and information materials used, when visiting other Council buildings staff should instantly be able to recognise the recycling containers and be able to use them appropriately.


Nearly all of West Lothian, including businesses, householders and Council staff are able to recycle the same materials.  This means that the Council’s recycling message is consistent and whether people are working or living in West Lothian, they all have the opportunity to recycle.

The key lessons learnt from this process were the ensuring the understanding and cooperation of staff in changing behaviours to maximise recycling.


The multiservice approach to the citing, management and operation of the facilities was critical, as was the sharing of results and good practice during the phased role out to buildings.


Theme: Service Transformation

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


David Goodenough

Recycling and Waste Services Manager

West Lothian Council

01506 777607

Case study added to site: March 2017

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