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Composting food waste can help create a great garden

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is starting new kerbside recycling and waste collection services in Lewis and Harris from this month. This is thanks to funding support of £855,000 from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund.

Householders currently without a green and blue recycling bin, should look out for new recycling bins being delivered over the coming months, ahead of the new kerbside recycling collection service launching.  

In addition, to bring the collection services in line with the Scottish Government Household Recycling Charter, all services will move to a three-weekly collection frequency, making it easier for households to recycle.

The new waste & recycling collection service will be as follows:

Non-Recyclable Waste (black bin with purple label) – every 3 weeks

Food & Garden Waste (black bin with yellow label) – every 3 weeks

Mixed Recycling (blue bin) – every 3 weeks

Glass Recycling (green bin) – every 8 weeks

We all try to minimise the amount of food that is wasted but there are often leftovers and unavoidable food waste from preparing and enjoying meals.  The separate collection of food waste for processing can make a huge difference to the impact of waste on Climate Change by reducing carbon emissions.  Fortunately, all food and garden waste collected from Lewis & Harris households is treated locally, at the Creed Park Anaerobic Digester, and used to generate electricity and hydrogen. 

To make it even easier for householders to divert their food waste from landfill, as part of the roll out of the new services, the Comhairle’s Zero Waste Team will also be delivering new vented kitchen caddies and biodegradable liners to all householders in Lewis and Harris.  Vented caddies help moisture to evaporate and minimise food waste odours.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive at Zero Waste Scotland said: “Recycling is a simple and great way for the people of Scotland to reduce their carbon impact on the planet. To do this well, there needs to be an easy way for people to recycle at home, no matter where they are in Scotland. The rollout of new kerbside recycling and waste collection services in the Outer Hebrides will help increase consistency in recycling with that in the rest of Scotland.

“The Recycling Improvement Fund has already seen Scottish Government funding allocated to transformational and innovative projects up and down Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland is thrilled to welcome the isles of Lewis and Harris to the list.”

The Recycling Improvement Fund is also funding a new electric bin lorry.  This will be the first twin compartment electric bin lorry in Scotland. 

It will join a Hydrogen/Diesel hybrid bin lorry and, will be powered from green electricity produced by processing food and garden wastes using the Creed Park Anaerobic Digester.

According to 2020 data from the UK waste and recycling charity Wrap, on average 68 kilograms of food is wasted at home each year per person.  If sent to landfill, this will generate 528 kilograms of carbon emissions per person.  The Comhairle has set an ambitious target to capture and recycle an additional 1,000 tonnes of your food and garden waste per year. 

This will reduce carbon emissions and help ensure that enough green electricity is generated to charge the electric bin lorry and produce enough hydrogen on site to minimise the use of diesel in the Hydrogen/Diesel hybrid bin lorry.