West Lothian trial shows reduced levels of contamination

The Recycle for West Lothian campaign has shown “promising” results in the Armadale and Linlithgow areas.

West Lothian council has reported contamination levels decreased significantly

The campaign was aimed at fostering a recycling culture, reducing contamination and boosting recycling rates.

Following targeted intervention efforts, West Lothian council has reported that contamination levels have decreased significantly, with a reduction of over 70% for blue bins and 20% for green bins.


A specialised team conducted pre-collection checks on bins, tagging those with contaminated materials and informing residents via letters about necessary adjustments before bin collection.

Across three collection cycles, more than 90% of households adhered to proper recycling practices when presenting their bins for collection. Residents were encouraged to ensure cleanliness, emptiness and dryness of items in both blue and green bins, as well as to accurately segregate recyclable materials.

Additionally, reminders were issued regarding items unsuitable for recycling bins, including greasy pizza boxes, black bin bags, crisp packets and nappies.


Executive councillor for the environment and sustainability, Tom Conn, said: “The results of the Recycle for West Lothian pilot scheme have been very positive, helping drive up recycling and reduce contamination considerably.

“Thanks to all the local residents in the pilot areas who have positively engaged with our teams to ensure they were placing the right items in each bin. It’s great to see the majority of household were happy to take feedback on board to ensure they could recycle as much as possible.

“We will now be rolling this out on a rotational basis across West Lothian, to help other areas increase their recycling rates. If the pilot results were replicated across West Lothian, it would deliver huge benefits for the environment and savings of over £500,000 to the council, which could be reinvested to protect vital services for local residents in West Lothian.

“I would also like to thank all the council staff, who have worked hard very hard on the Recycle for West Lothian project to support local residents increase their recycling for the benefit of everyone.”

To find out more about how to improve council recycling rates, visit the National Letsrecycle.com Conference on 6 March at QEII Centre in London. To book tickets to attend or for more information please click here.

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