Choosing Dundee to host Scotland’s flagship recycling scheme would deliver a jobs boost while addressing the city’s “dismal recycling rates”.
That is what Conservative MSP Maurice Golden believes could happen if Dundee is put at the heart of the Scottish Government’s deposit return scheme.
Mr Golden has written to the circular economy minister Lorna Slater.
He says Dundee is the “ideal” location for infrastructure to count and process recyclable materials.
Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, backed the call.
She says there is “no good reason” why Dundee can’t play a major role in the scheme.
“The Tay Cities region sits at the heart of Scotland and has very good transport links to most of the country.
“I can see no good reason why Dundee or the wider Tayside region would not be the perfect location for this investment.”
Investment could be ‘catalyst’ for improving recycling rates
Analysis of Dundee’s performance on recycling indicates the city is nowhere near hitting its recycling targets.
This year, its recycling rate was well below the Scottish average of 44.9%. Dundee recycled just 38.4% of its household waste.
Mr Golden said making the city a recycling epicentre “could act as a catalyst for Dundee to improve its own dismal recycling rates, which are currently about 15 years behind target”.
The deposit return scheme will be operated by Circularity Scotland – an organisation made up of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers.
Circularity Scotland will make the ultimate decisions regarding locations of infrastructure.
However, there is currently no launch date for the delayed scheme.
“Once it eventually gets going, the deposit return scheme will need at least one major centre for bulking and large scale counting,” said Mr Golden.
“Dundee would be the ideal city for this to be based.
“I’m urging Lorna Slater to give serious consideration to making Dundee home to this flagship scheme. And to do all she can to persuade everyone necessary of the city’s credentials.
“Basing the deposit return scheme in Dundee would also create good jobs and opportunities for local people.”
Dundee has lost its identity as a ‘recycling city’ says Labour
Local Labour Councillor Richard McCready said Dundee was once a “recycling city”.
“In the 1990s Dundee was known as a recycling city. Thanks to the efforts of my Labour predecessors, especially the late Julie Sturrock.
“The city now must do more.
“I want to see the deposit return scheme up and running sooner rather than later. And I want to see it as an opportunity to deliver jobs to the city of Dundee.
“I am looking for action from the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council along with industry to develop jobs in the city of Dundee.
“We should be looking to improve the environment. And also create jobs to create a just transition to the green economy that our city and our planet needs.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said the deposit return scheme would be “among the most environmentally ambitious” projects in Europe.
It will involve setting up tens of thousands of return points for plastic, metal and glass containers.
“Delivery of the scheme is being led by industry and they have made important progress, including the establishment of a scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland Ltd (CSL).
“We anticipate the deposit return scheme will generate a range of employment opportunities.
“However, it will be for CSL to determine the most appropriate locations for infrastructure and facilities.”