Waste consultation launched in Fife in bid to avoid £15 million bill

© DC Thomson
Councillor Ross Vettraino has highlighted the need for Fifers to have their say on the new waste strategy.

Communities and businesses across the region are being urged to help Fife Council avoid a waste bill of up to £15 million a year by 2021.

Last year, the local authority sent 112,000 tonnes of waste to landfill, costing taxpayers £9.5 million.

However, due to legislative changes and a forthcoming landfull ban on all biodegradable waste, the price tag could soon be up to 50% greater within just three years.

With that in mind, Fife Council is drawing up a new waste strategy for the kingdom, and Fifers are being encouraged to get involved in helping to cut waste, increase recycling and make financial savings.

Councillor Ross Vettraino, convener of Fife Council’s environment, protective services and community safety committee, explained: “Putting waste, which could be recycled, into the blue landfill bin is an irresponsible waste of public money.

“We all need to follow the lead of those people who are already properly recycling their waste and help develop a more circular economy — where we recycle more and reuse what we can thereby reducing waste.

“With the forthcoming ban on land-filling biodegradable household waste and increases in costs, waste disposal costs in Fife are set to rise from approximately £9.5 million to £15 million per year.”

Fife’s current recycling rate is 55% and a further 4% of waste is diverted through energy recovery.

However, 41% of Fife’s waste still goes to landfill. Research reveals that a considerable amount — more than 50% — of material being put into blue landfill bins could be recycled or composted.

Mr Vettraino pointed out that Fife’s recycling rate sees the region in the top five best performing Scottish councils, but noted that the increase has levelled off over the last six years.

“With an increasing population, accommodating the consequential increase in waste growth is a real challenge,” he admitted.

“If more waste is sent for recycling, less waste would have to be land-filled and there would be savings in landfill tax.

“Reducing landfill waste means that we’ll have more money to spend on essential services, like schools and social care.”

Council staff will be at Kirkcaldy’s Mercat Shopping Centre on Thursday from 11am to 3pm to encourage people to have their say on the new waste strategy, while people can also take a survey online at www.fifedirect.org.uk/dontwasteit.