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Residents to get year's supply of free recycling bags

Isles of Scilly residents will be given free clear recycling sacks for a year when dry mixed recycling is rolled out across the islands.

At this evening’s Full Council meeting, Members unanimously voted to ensure that all households have free access to clear recycling sacks and that the Council will bear the full cost. The current cost to the Authority is 11p per sack or £2.75p per roll of 25.

The Council began piloting dry mixed recycling kerbside collections on St Mary’s in January, in the area of McFarland’s Down and Telegraph. This has resulted in the collection of 2.38 tonnes of dry mixed recycling and an average participation rate of 81.3% of households each week. The average percentage of recycling diverted from residual waste is 34%.

Householders' dry mixed recycling is also now accepted at the Porthmellon Waste Site on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, with 1.09 tonnes received through the ‘bring’ option.

​According to Senior Infrastructure Officer Helen Pearce's report for today's meeting, the Authority next intends to roll out the scheme to households and businesses on the off-islands; introduce a ‘bring’ service to commercial customers at the Porthmellon Waste Management Site; and expand the kerbside collection of dry mixed recycling to a wider area on St Mary's.​

All Members agreed that there should be as few barriers to recycling as possible and unanimously voted to provide free sacks for a year, with the arrangement to be reviewed at that point.

It was noted in the report that in not paying for recycling sacks, there was a risk that customers "may not place a value on the sacks and we could see them used at a higher rate (or for other purposes), thereby increasing the costs to the Council over what has been estimated".

Watch the meeting here.


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