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August 13, 2014

Dunbar zero in on waste

Ten years ago Scotland recycled just 5% of its waste. Within the next ten years Scottish Government wants 70% of all waste to be recycled.  Although we’ve come a long way (average recycling rates are 40%), we’re still a long way from reaching the holy grail of becoming a Zero Waste country. For that to happen, we need to change our whole way of thinking about waste and it’s widely acknowledged that change on that scale needs to be locally driven. Dunbar are aiming to be Scotland’s first zero waste community.



Scottish Govt

Being recognised as a Zero Waste Town could become a common-place accolade for Scottish communities, thanks to the launch of a new programme from Zero Waste Scotland aiming to recognise collective efforts from residents and businesses to reduce waste, recycle more, and use resources efficiently. 

Dunbar in East Lothian is set to become the first of Scotland’s Zero Waste Towns, it was announced today by Environment Minister, Richard Lochhead.   

The pilot project, which could in future be replicated elsewhere, will introduce a number of community-led initiatives, including:

•             Opening a facility to help make re-using goods easier;

•             Local engagement drives to help households waste less food and use food waste recycling collections;

•             Educational programmes with local schools; and

•             Initiatives to reduce litter such as on-street ‘Recycle on the go’ bins which fit in with the towns historic landscapes.

The project will be coordinated by local community group Sustaining Dunbar, which will work closely with Zero Waste Scotland, East Lothian Council, local groups, businesses and residents to coordinate a comprehensive approach to transforming attitudes to waste in the town. 

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“It’s fantastic that Dunbar has set an example and become Scotland’s first ever Zero Waste Town, demonstrating the community’s firm commitment to making real progress in resource management at a local level. This innovative programme will help the town recycle more, send less to landfill and use our precious resources more efficiently. I wish everyone involved in this initiative the best of luck and I hope it will create valuable experiences that other communities around Scotland can benefit from as we strive to make Scotland a zero waste country.”

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Getting everyone in Scotland’s communities on-board with our vision to eliminate waste, for the benefit of local economies and the environment, is absolutely vital.  Scotland has set ambitious targets to achieve a recycling rate of 70 percent and reduce the waste produced by 15 percent by 2025.  To achieve this, everyone must play their part. 

“Working to becoming a Zero Waste Town will be a great way to bring communities together, working towards a shared goal.  Hopefully the pilot project in Dunbar will provide great examples of best practice which we can recreate in other towns across Scotland.”

Brian Grindley, Chair of Sustaining Dunbar said:

“Sustaining Dunbar are delighted that Dunbar has been chosen to be Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town. We have already spoken to a wide range of organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the community and received a hugely positive response to this project.

“We look forward to working together to lead the way in eliminating waste.”

Dunbar was selected for the pilot project following submissions from across Scotland after an open call for interested communities in 2013.