Cleaner recycling means less waste, less landfill and more value!

The Highland Council would like to remind householders to only put clean and dry items into blue recycling bins. Cleaner recycling means less waste, less landfill and therefore more value. 

The Highland Council (as is the case with most Local Authorities) requests that all items presented for recycling are empty, clean, dry and not in plastic bags. Food waste can contaminate a load and reduce the quality of recycled materials. When materials are contaminated their market value decreases and can result in higher prices to process the material or landfilling of the material. 

Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee explains: “We need recycled materials to be clean and dry in order to maximise recycling and diversion from landfill. Once material is contaminated it is difficult to be recycled.” 

The easiest way to help maintain good quality recycling is to rinse items; use the end of your washing up water, or rinse in as little water as possible. Leave to dry and put in your recycling bin. Please don’t bag up your recycling in plastic bags. The Material Recovery Facility where your recycling goes cannot process plastic bags. Please re-use bags or take them to the recycling points in supermarkets. 

You may see the operations crew checking your blue recycling bin before they empty it into the recycling vehicle. They are looking to see the quality of the recycling in your bin and will leave a sticker on your bin to help you if they see too much contamination in your bin. 

Cllr Allan Henderson added: “If recycling is spoiled before it reaches us it may have to be sent to landfill which costs the Council a lot more to dispose of. Currently in Highland the recycling rate is 45%. In 2017 16,500 tonnes of recycling was collected in the blue bins across the region. Your effort is valued and could save the Council thousands of pounds in landfill costs so I would like to thank everyone for helping to achieve this and would encourage everyone to continue to improve on this figure, and help the Council to avoid the high costs of sending waste to landfill.” 

For a comprehensive list of what goes in your blue bin and how to recycle please visit: 

For further information about recycling in the Highlands visit: email or call 01349 886603. 


29 Jan 2018
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