A number of Fife’s recycling points could be removed as part of a review.
The region currently aims for one recycling point for every 600 households on average but, after a review was carried out, gaps in provision of glass recycling in urban areas and also overprovision of points in certain places were among the issues identified.
Officers have decided there should be one recycling point for every 700 households, in line with Scotland’s Household Recycling Charter, while paper and cardboard bins will only be provided at recycling points where there are deemed to be “insufficient” kerbside bins.
Recycling points in settlements of fewer than 100 properties will also be reviewed annually to ensure they continue to be “environmentally practicable”, although £134,750 of funding from Zero Waste Scotland has been secured to help provide 11 new glass recycling points in St Andrews, Methil, Leven and Buckhaven, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath.
Bin sensors will also be installed at certain sites in a bid to ensure scarce resources are allocated on an “as required” basis.
Robin Baird, chief operating officer for Fife Resource Solutions, said the aim of the new approach is to ensure consistency across the region.
“What we’re really trying to highlight is that no decisions have been made, but each individual situation will be unique so individual solutions may be required for that particular locality,” he said.
Reports are expected to go to each local area committee, the members of which will decide what should happen – if anything – to recycling points in their respective locales.
Mr Baird said bin sensors would be used to monitor how full bins were, with the devices placed inside the bin lid to detect waste levels.
“It could be that we cherrypick where we put them so we make sure we’re not emptying half-full bins or, indeed, making sure that we’re emptying them enough.”
Councillor Ross Vettraino, committee convener, underlined the importance of local consultation, and said any changes should also help the local authority get a grip on illegal dumping at recycling points.
He said: “Unfortunately, flytipping is a daily occurrence at these facilities.
“Recycling point bins are designed to accept overspill from the kerbside collection service.
“But often bulky household waste such as furniture, electrical items and bric-a-brac or bagged mixed general household waste including food are being dumped on sites.”
Fife is also monitoring the Scottish Government’s consultation on a national deposit and return scheme for glass bottles which could impact on future recycling point provision.