Rutherglen Councillors visit to Recycling Resource Centre

23rd September 2018

Two Rutherglen Councillors have been marking Recycle Week properly by visiting the Levenseat Recycling and Resource Centre at Forth to see how the process works. Levenseat are a Recycling and Resource Management Company who have a contract with South Lanarkshire for recycling and disposal of “grey bin” waste – bottles, plastics, metals, cans etc.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown and Labour Councillor Margaret Cowie– who both represent Rutherglen South ward – were given a tour of the facility which also has facilities for disposal of garden and food waste, road grit, paper and other items.

Robert Brown said:

“Recycling is hugely important to stop the sheer waste of throwing useful materials away and avoiding putting it in landfill which can take many years to decompose. The Council have made big strides to increase recycling rates- and this is really a significant local step towards helping save the planet.

The company have contracts with Councils and other customers across Scotland. It was fascinating to see all the lorries coming in from South Lanarkshire, Glasgow, West Lothian and other places and disgorging the contents.

The grey bin stuff goes through a conveyor belt process which pulls off metal cans by magnets, then separates plastics from bottles and other tins by a shaking process which brings the heavier items to the bottom. The glass eventually gets crushed and the metal and plastics get bailed before being sold on to companies who can reprocess it. However there are a lot of staff whose job it is to handpick unsuitable items from the conveyor and send them off in the right direction.

We picked up lots of ideas about what can be recycled and what can’t. The Council has a problem with contamination of recycling materials when people put the wrong materials in the recycling bins. This costs a lot of money and sometimes means the stuff can’t after all be recycled.

It is not so much a problem with the odd item going in the wrong bin – it is when it is all mixed up with food waste, black bin bags or things of that sort.

I had always wondered about plastic bottle tops. Apparently these can go in the grey bin providing they are taken off the bottle.”

Margaret Cowiesaid:

“I welcome Recycle Week and found the visit a great opportunity to understand better how it all works. We picked up all sorts of things about how to recycle better at home. For example, most plastic food containers can be recycled providing they are properly washed out. I always thought you couldn’t recycle plastic bleach bottles and the like but apparently you can if they are washed out.

I was impressed with how big the whole operation is and how important to the local economy – they employ around 100 staff of various kinds. Some things like paper and metal tins can sell well but plastics don’t produce as much and overall there is still a significant cost to the Council.”

(See Recycling note below)

South Lanarkshire Council encourages recycling in households – you can find more information about what should go in grey bins and blue bins on our website. A new video is available on the web page explaining what happens to the waste going into burgundy bins.

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