Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Jenny Wilkinson, Clerk to the Council  Tel: 01835 825004 Email:

Link: teamsliveevent

No. Item


Minute. pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Minute of Meeting of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee held on 10 May 2021 to be approved and signed by the Chairman. (to follow.)


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the Meeting held on 10 May 2021.



APPROVED for signature by the Chairman.



Recycling and Waste Policy Update pdf icon PDF 6 MB

Consider report by Service Director of Assets and Infrastructure.  (Copy attached.)


2.1       There had been circulated copies of report by the Service Director, Assets & Infrastructure providing an update on the effectiveness of the Council’s Recycling and Waste Policies.  The report was presented by Mr Ross Sharp-Dent, the Council’s Waste Manager, who gave a summary of the comprehensive report and accompanying appendices.  In his introduction, Mr Sharp-Dent explained that over the last two decades there had been a significant change in the way we view and manage waste.  We were moving away from a throwaway society, where materials were discarded, towards more sustainable practices where materials were re-used or recycled.  In Scotland this change had largely been driven by National Waste Policy targets and legislative measures, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  In response to the various drivers, Scottish Borders Council had delivered a number of significant service changes as set out in Appendix 2 to the report. The report itself summarised the Council’s current service provision.  Statutory kerbside collection services were delivered to around 59,000 households, with recycling material and general waste being collected from all households and food waste from approximately 25,000 households.  The Council also provided a non-statutory trade waste service on a commercial basis; a bulky uplift Service (non-statutory); 7 Community Recycling Centres (statutory); 74 Recycling Points (only the provision of glass banks being statutory); and Waste Transfer Stations (statutory).  Historically the Council had managed the disposal of waste itself at various landfills.  However, as the Council had increased the quantity of materials that it recycled it had put in arrangements with third party providers to treat its waste.  The report highlighted the significant impact on waste services as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, although the full impact was not yet fully understood.  Initial analysis indicated a 40% increase in glass, 12% increase in general waste and increased contamination of kerbside recycling, the increases likely to be due to people staying in their homes.  Ultimately the pandemic increased collection and disposal costs and reduced trade waste income.


2.2       The report went on to provide details of the Council’s performance compared with other Councils.  Scottish Borders Council achieved the single biggest recycling increase of any local authority in Scotland between 2018 and 2019, ensuring we were now recycling more than the national average (44.9%). Scottish Borders Council was the highest performing Council in terms of recycling performance, when compared to local authorities with similar rural characteristics.  It was clear from the data presented that there were a lot positives to be taken from the Performance of the Councils Waste Service.  This included: increasing recycling rates; reducing landfill rates; reducing carbon emissions; low numbers of missed collections; high satisfaction levels; and relatively low service provision costs.  However there were areas that required improvement including the large quantity of potentially recyclable material that remained in the general waste bin i.e 70%; the increasing levels of contamination in kerbside recycling i.e. 25%; and the long term viability of the bulky uplift service.  The report summarised the next steps  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Urgent Business


Under Section 50B(4)(b) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the Chairman was of the opinion that the item dealt with in the following paragraph should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency, in view of the need to keep Members informed.


Scrutiny Work Programme

The Clerk to the Council agreed to the Chairman’s request for an update of the list and timescale of Scrutiny items to be provided at the next meeting of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee.  The Chairman also referred to a question raised at a previous meeting about the definition of a Community School.  Miss Wilkinson agreed to arrange for this question to be addressed and the information provided.







Scottish Borders Council

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Tel: 0300 100 1800


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