Feb 17 2010 By Tristan Stewart-Robertson
CASH for vital services in Glasgow is being used to pay landfill taxes because residents are not recycling enough.
That's the warning from campaigners who said people need to understand there is a financial impact to not recycling, as well as the damage to the planet.
But they also said the council need to make recycling easier to ensure less waste goes to landfills, for which every ton is punishable by massive fines imposed across Europe.
Figures were published this week showing Glasgow remains the second-worst council in the country for recycling.
Between July and September last year, they managed just 22.3 per cent, second only to the Shetlands with 21.8.
Yet, the Scottish average is 39 per cent and Glasgow's own target for 2010 is 40 per cent of waste to be recycled.
South Ayrshire managed to recycle 47.3 per cent of its waste.
Green councillor Kieran Wild said: "It's the council's lack of investment over the past decade that's caused this and there's still a lot of residents who don't have recycling in their back courts.
"There is a willingness by Glaswegians to recycle but the council need to encourage them.
"They are having to find an extra s2 million in landfill tax so the council needs to emphasise that recycling will save them money.
"You should be recycling for the good of council services and for the good of the environment."
There has been an improvement in Glasgow's recycling since the same period in 2004 when residents managed to only recycle 9.8 per cent of their waste.
Now, the council are planning to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill and are looking for contractors to treat at least 150,000 tons of waste.
Any form of treatment could be possible but the council have specified it should not be mass burn incineration.
Bailie McNally, Executive Member for Land and Environmental Services, said: "We are working hard to improve Glasgow's recycling performance.
"As part of efforts to increase the amount of household waste recycled in Glasgow, we have introduced a pilot kerbside glass collection in locations throughout the Knightswood and Newlands area to homes that already receive a kerbside collection for other waste."
The latest figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency showed that, for the first time, the majority of Scotland's local authorities met or exceeded the 2010 target to recycle more than 40 per cent of municipal solid waste.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Before devolution, Scotland was almost wholly dependant on landfill an out-of sight and out-of-mind approach that was unsustainable.
"To help under-achieving councils we have announced s7 million for local government funding. We are also planning a national campaign to get everyone recycling."