Funding boost for Edinburgh’s expanded polystyrene recycling plans

Image credit: Forever Edinburgh

THE City of Edinburgh Council has been awarded £19,000 to support the recycling of expanded polystyrene (EPS) at household recycling centres.

The £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF) was launched by the Scottish Government in 2021 to provide grants to local authorities for improving recycling infrastructure and services. The council revealed it has been awarded funding under the small grants scheme, targeted at strengthening collection systems.

The move follows successful trials at the council’s three household waste recycling centres in Seafield, Craigmillar, and Sighthill.

EPS is a lightweight foam material. The council said it is ‘rarely recycled’ and would otherwise need to be disposed of by energy recovery, which involves burning the waste at high temperatures.

The funding will see the creation of an external storage area at one of the council sites.

Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment committee convener, said, “I’m delighted that we’ve secured essential funding to improve our recycling services. As Scotland’s capital, we’re determined to play our part in the global fight against climate change by managing waste in the most sustainable way possible.”

David Gunn, Zero Waste Scotland’s recycling improvement fund manager, added, “By recycling as much as possible, we can all help reduce carbon emissions, tackle climate change, and ease the pressure placed on the planet. The council’s award will help improve its recycling infrastructure and services, benefiting residents and taking Scotland forward on its journey to becoming a circular economy.”

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater commented, “Recycling has a huge role to play in Scotland’s response to the climate crisis. Since launching in 2021, hundreds of thousands of people across the country have benefited from projects supported through our £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund – one of the biggest investments in a generation to modernise recycling in Scotland. I am delighted that this latest round of funding will make it easier for many more households across Scotland to recycle their waste, boosting local recycling rates.”