Scottish Borders Council looks to boost recycling with online portal and app

Local authority unveils digital platform enabling citizens to access guidance and check information on services, after study revealed that half of local residents have thrown recyclable items in the rubbish

Scottish Borders Council  has introduced a new digital toolkit to help tackle waste levels across the region.

The online portal allows residents to input their address to get details specific to their location including collection days and what items can and cannot be recycled at the kerbside. The site contains advice on how to dispose of packaging also includes updates on scheduled possible disruption to collection services because of weather or other factors.

The tool, which has been created on a trial basis for one year, also offers a recycling challenge game to help engage locals and educate them on items they cannot recycle locally.

An accompanying app is set to be introduced in the coming weeks, which will allow residents to receive notifications directly to their devices, including information on missed and rescheduled collections.

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The announcement of the new digital platform follows a survey conducted by the authority in which half of respondents admitted to throwing items in their general waste bin because they were unsure if these could be recycled.  It is hoped the tool will help the council “build” its reputation as one of the top Scottish councils for recycling rates, according to Ross Sharp-Dent, waste and passenger transport manager at Scottish Borders Council.

“Research has shown that 75% of what goes in the average general waste bin could be recycled,” he said. “Through this one-year trial, we can help to lower this number by educating and informing residents about what can and cannot be recycled whilst helping them manage their collections more efficiently.” 

Sam Trendall

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