A kerbside recycling service for glass would cost taxpayers money and increase the local authority’s carbon footprint, Fifers have been told.
Savings and income would be outweighed by the cost of manpower and five new refuse trucks to serve around 150,000 households, claimed the region’s environment spokesman.
Unlike some local authorities, Fife Council does not include glass in its household recycling collections, which do pick up paper and cardboard, plastic and cans, and food and garden waste.
Challenging the council, East Neuk and Landward Conservative councillor Linda Holt said people in villages like Crail had to travel by car to bottle banks or throw bottles and jars in with landfill waste.
Ross Vettraino, environment, protective services and community safety convener, argued there was neither economic nor environmental justification for kerbside glass collection.
He also blasted those who throw glass in their rubbish bins instead of taking it to a bottle bank, saying they “just don’t care”.
In 2017 3,518 tonnes of glass were thrown into Fife’s blue landfill bins, rather than being recycled.
Mr Vettraino said: “If that amount could be recovered we would realise an annual saving of £312,000 in landfill tax and increased income of £64,750, totalling £376,750.
“It would take an additional five refuse vehicles working a double shift to provide a four-weekly glass collection for 150,000 domestic properties, excluding flats, in Fife.”
Annually, paying for, maintaining, running and staffing the extra vehicles would cost £420,800, he said, which would increase year-on-year.
The estimated cost excluded the £2m or more it would cost for glass bins or boxes for each household and the need for a spare vehicle.
He said: “Therefore, it would cost in the order of £50,000 per annum to provide a kerbside glass collection service, plus an increase in the council’s carbon footprint with an additional five or six vehicles.”
He added: “The biggest flaw in all that I have said is that is if all the glass in landfill bins could be recovered.
“There’s glass in landfill bins because the people who put it there just don’t care.
“They are probably the same people that put their food waste in the landfill bins and otherwise contaminate all the council’s recycling services.”