Angus residents will have to change their attitudes and “think recycling” if the local authority is to avoid stringent landfill fines.
Council chiefs have admitted that achieving tough new government recycling targets by 2025 “will be challenging”.
However, scrutiny and audit convener Bob Spink said it was achievable if they could get the support of the Angus public and change recycling attitudes. A scrutiny panel set up to consider the progress towards zero waste has issued a report following a year-long investigation.
A 70% target has been set for all waste to be recycled by 2025 and a maximum 5% target for all waste to be sent to landfill by the same year.
Mr Spink said: “The Waste Strategy Report found that in 2012/13 the recycling rate in Angus at 39.81% was close to the national average of 41.70%.
“The Angus figure in fact declined in that year due to the Dundee DERL recycling facility used by Angus being closed for a large part of the year due to a fire.
“However, information from the trial kerbside recycling scheme indicated that the recycling rate had increased from 18% pre-trial to 55% during the trial.
“The Scottish Government Zero Waste Plan published in June 2012 indicated that by 2025 70% of all of Scotland’s waste should be recycled with only 5% ending in landfill.”
“An intermediate target of recycling/composting 50% of household waste should be achieved by 2013. The panel concluded that they were confident Angus would achieve the intermediate target and that we will achieve a recycling rate of over 60%, although the Scottish Government target of 70% by 2025 will be challenging, but achievable.
“To help us meet this target we depend hugely on public support, both in their understanding of the magnitude of the task and the problems we are sure must crop up along the way, but most of all by carrying out to the best of their ability the collection regimes set out by the council.”