Recycling - general information
Recycling: To increase the amount of material recycled by West Lothian Council, a recycling trial was introduced in 2001 in selected areas. As the trial was successful, the scheme was rolled-out in West Lothian in order to achieve the recycling targets set by the Scottish Executive.
The bins are emptied on a four-weekly cycle with the grey bin and blue bin being lifted once a fortnight and brown every four weeks.
Recycling Bin options:
In addition to the service standards for waste collection, the following apply for kerbside recycling:
- We will continue to offer, free of charge at your request, any number or combination of blue bins in the following sizes: 140 litre, 240 litre (standard size bin), 360 litre
- We will offer, free of charge at your request, any number of brown bins, which are only available in the standard 240ltr size.
- Any additional bins requested shall be provided within 10 working days.
Required standards for recycling:
We will provide householders with a calendar stating the schedule for collection.
These can be placed within the blue bin:
- Cans - Aluminium and steel food and drinks cans, which we require to be rinsed out before being placed within bin
- Cardboard based food and drinks cartons, fresh soup cartons, juice and smoothie cartons - please remove lids and rinse.
- Paper- Newspapers, magazines, brochures, catalogues, junk mail , telephone directories including Yellow Pages
- Lightweight card- card food packaging, cereal boxes, kitchen and toilet roll tubes, washing powder boxes.
- Plastic bottles- We only accept bottles made from PET/PETE or HDPE, which we require to be rinsed out before being placed within bin.
- We will not accept plastic bags within the blue bin.
You should not put the following items in your blue bin:
Food packaging excluding cardboard packing, glass bottles, older Yellow Pages, envelopes, carbon paper, disposable nappies. IF IN DOUBT PLEASE PUT IT IN YOUR GREY BIN.
These can be placed within the brown bin:
- Flowers and plants
- Garden weeds
- Grass cuttings
- Hedge clippings
- Leaves and bark
- Small branches and twigs
If your bin contains materials other than those listed, we will advise you by placing a sticker on the bin. This bin shall not be uplifted along with the other recycling bins as it will contaminate the whole load. Contamination must be removed and placed in the grey bin.
We will arrange to uplift the bin within 5 working days, once we have been notified that contamination has been removed.
Households that continue to contaminate will be visited by the Councils Waste Management Officers who will offer advice on recycling.
If you have opted out of the recycling scheme and your bin is only emptied once a fortnight, it is not possible for you to have a larger bin as these are only for people that are part of the recycling scheme.
The garden waste will be turned into compost for use in landscaping work and the paper will be converted into new paper products.
Recycling Helpline Tel: 01506 775000
Also, you can get more details on how you can help recycle more from:
Waste Aware Scotland
17-21 Maxwell Place
Tel: 01786 468248
Waste Aware Armadale
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to see the answer.
There are 3 sizes of Blue wheeled bins available on request. Normal blue bins are issued in 240 litre size. There is a 140 litre bin - same height, but nearly half a width smaller than the normal bin. 360 litre - same height but a half width larger than a normal bin. Unfortunately the Brown recycling bins only come in the normal wheeled bin size. Additional recycle bins are available on request. Bins may be shared e.g. this is popular with residents with small gardens that do not produce much garden waste, but still wish to recycle. It is common for several neighbours to share a bin for this purpose
Yes, it matters if you put the wrong colour glass into the wrong bin. If a clear glass bin is contaminated with even one green bottle it can mean that a whole bin worth of glass is rendered unusable, so use of the right bin is important.
Christmas trees can be taken to our household waste and recycling centres.
Fridges and freezers are all recycled. Even the older kinds, which can contain chemicals harmful to the environment, are taken through a special process to extract the refrigerant gases and foam for safer disposal. The shell is then shredded and recycled. Aluminium, steel and copper are extracted and smelted down to be used again, along with cans, washing machines, dishwashers, radiators, garage doors, lawnmowers, ironing boards, bed frames, bikes and boilers.
Waste from the brown bin is composted at West Lothian Recycling in Addiewell. The compost is used within the council for grounds maintenance or external forestry.Waste from the blue bin is sent to a local materials recycling facility. It is separated using a combination of automatic and manual methods before each separate material is baled and sent on for reprocessing into newspapers, and a variety of plastic and metal products.We aim to improve our service by expanding the range of materials we collect for recycling.
Many types of glass contain sulphur or are in other ways contaminated - and therefore can't be recycled at the usual recycling points. Greenhouses, window - panes, vehicle glass, Pyrex dishes, ornaments, vases and mirrors are unsuitable for the bins. Even drinking glasses can't be recycled with household glass. It is best to just recycle household glass jars (rinsed out and without the lid) and glass bottles.
The adhesives in the envelopes (and the plastic in the windowed ones) may interfere with the re - processing of the paper, so they cannot be recycled.
Scotland is producing increasing amounts of waste; the majority of this waste is buried in the ground in landfills. However, new Europeanlaw require the Countries who are part of the European Union to lower the amount of waste they send to landfill. When we landfill out waste we are throwing away valuable materials that could be used to make new products. Materials that breakdown in landfill sites contribute to climate change and can pollute surrounding land and rivers.