The Scottish government’s Recycling Improvement Fund awarded the council the funding in order to help increase recycling rates across the region and cut the volume of unnecessary waste going to landfill.

The new collection cycle will see non-recyclable waste plus food waste collected in week one. Week two will see paper and card collected and week three will be for food and drinks cans, cartons, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays. Food waste will also be collected in weeks two and three.

Councillors unanimously voted in support of the new cycle last Thursday.

‘I very much welcome the significant funding support being provided by Zero Waste Scotland and look forward to the introduction of this new three-weekly cycle which will provide our communities with the opportunity to recycle far more,’ said the chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle.

‘We understand that change to collections will take time to bed in, but we have every confidence that our residents will not only understand them but be surprised with just how much more they will begin to recycle.’

The new cycle is expected to divert between 1,249 and 6,434 tonnes of material into recycling, increasing the council’s recycling rate from 44% in 2019 to 45-49% by 2023.

Estimated annual revenue savings to the council are anticipated to be in the region of £700,000.

Waste manager Ros Baxter commented: ‘While our current system significantly increased recycling when it was first implemented, it is no longer fit for purpose, particularly in light of more household packaging now being recyclable and with even more expected to become recyclable in the near future.

‘By providing residents with more recycling capacity and less non-recyclable capacity to better match the materials they throw away, it will encourage residents to recycle as much as they can. Keeping the service aligned with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter will also make the service fit for any future policy changes.’