A call for consistent colouring of recycling bins to help confused Scots recycle more has been consigned to the rubbish bin in Fife.
Such a move would cost millions of pounds in extra expenditure, the council said.
Colour coded bins are used to help households recycle properly but an expert group believes the lack of colour uniformity across the country could be having an adverse effect on recycling rates.
Fife’s rates have stuttered of late and proposed monthly landfill bin collections for certain areas of the kingdom have been shelved following a trial after results suggested the move made little difference.
Waste experts Junk Hunters have appealed to local authorities to consider making bin colours the same across regional borders. Spokesperson Harsha Rathnayake said the issue is particularly difficult for those who have recently moved into Fife from an area which has different coloured bins.
Whereas blue bins are for landfill and grey bins are for paper in Fife, the reverse is true for Dundee, while green bins are used for landfill in Perth and Kinross, where blue-lidded bins are used for household paper, cans, cardboard, cartons and rigid plastic packaging.
“People usually have the best intentions to recycle and dispose of their waste properly but are often confused by colour coded bins as they differ so greatly from region to region,” Mr Rathnayake said.
“It should be easy to designate a colour to a bin for certain materials and have this consistent across the country. It would certainly alleviate the problem of cross-contamination in bins, which causes them to be rejected at sorting plants and costs the local council unnecessary money.
“Also, clearly labelling bins and bags with images of suitable materials would help, as would transparent information on council websites.”
However, Fife has vetoed the idea.
Simon Jeynes, zero waste technical officer with Resource Efficient Solutions, the arms-length company that deals with recycling for Fife, said colour-coding has been discussed at industry level but Fife Council signed up to the Household Recycling Charter in 2016 in order to try and get a consistency of recycling services.
He said: “At present Fife is not looking at changing the colour of its bins.
“Changing the colour of only one bin for all residents could cost Fife more than £3million at a time when council budgets are reducing and money could be better spent maintaining and developing its services.”
Anyone who would like to know more about recycling in Fife can visit the Fife Council website at www.fifedirect.org.uk/wasteaware or call the council’s recycling helpline on 03451 55 00 22.