John Morrison SAC on Waste Management


At our recent Tuesday evening meeting, we were pleased to welcome John Morrison from South Ayrshire Council’s waste management team. The Scottish Government said John, has set a national target to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025. To improve South Ayrshire’s current household recycling rate, which is just over 55%, new ways of collecting materials are being put in place. This development is being supported by a grant from Zero Waste Scotland which aims to improve consistency in recycling services across Scotland.

Disappointingly continued John, large quantities of recyclable materials and food waste are currently left in general waste bins and end up in landfill sites. Council figures suggest that 36% of waste left in green bins is food; 14% is paper, card and cardboard; and 11% is metal, plastic and cartons – all of which can be recycled. Every year more than 20,000 tonnes of household waste is sent to landfill, leading to increased costs to the public expense

Using interesting slide full of relevant data, John stated in a Scotland wide recent survey of 1000 Scots, 46 per cent said they had become more concerned about the environment since the start of the pandemic, and a massive 92 per cent said they were recycling the same as or more than before. Key stated reasons for recycling more included an increased quantity of materials to recycle since the pandemic started and having more time at home than before.

A new booking system for recycling centres is set to be introduced within South Ayrshire – to put the brakes on non-residents using them. The facilities are for the region’s residents to help them recycle domestic goods.

However, the council insist they are increasingly being overwhelmed by commercial users and people who live in other local authority areas. And that has prompted the shift to a booking system procedure which aims to cater for residents with and without digital access.

Once the system is live, residents will not be able to visit recycling centres in South Ayrshire without a booking.

It’s hoped the new way forward has the advantage of helping to reduce queuing times around the centres and traffic flow issues – particularly at the Heathfield site in Ayr.

Residents must register a few details, including proof of South Ayrshire residency, to reserve an available slot of their choice.

People who don’t have digital access will be able to make a booking over the phone.

This change continued John, is essential to allow us to control misuse of the sites, and will also help to tackle traffic congestion. His waste management team work tirelessly to ensure all household waste needs are met, and he is sure this system will only enhance the excellent service they already provide. The Council’s aim is to

Get more people to recycle

Improve quality

Reduce costs for local authority

John’s talk generated so many questions that President Elect Bob Cherry had to conclude the evening with a vote of thanks from Ron Ireland.