South Ayrshire increase recycling rates in parks

South Ayrshire Council is collecting 36.8%* more recyclable waste in residential parks since installing over 400 new recycling bins by Leafield Environmental in June 2022.

South Ayrshire Council invested in new recycling infrastructure after receiving a £90,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF) in 2022. The Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF) was launched in 2021 to help local authorities like South Ayrshire Council invest in new recycling infrastructure to increase both the quantity and quality of recycling and support Scotland’s ambitious waste and recycling targets and net zero commitments.

Councillor Martin Kilbride, Buildings, Housing and Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said:

We applied for the Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF) as we recognised the potential to increase recycling rates in parks, that were only collecting litter, dog fouling and recyclable waste together, which couldn’t be recycled due to contamination. We wanted to demonstrate that by improving the recycling infrastructure in selected parks, we could collect more recyclable waste separately, reducing a significant amount going to landfill. We were delighted to receive the five-year grant funding to purchase over 400 new recycling bins.”

New Recycling Infrastructure…

Leafield Environmental was selected by tender to design and manufacture South Ayrshire Council’s 400 new recycling bins for parks. The Council worked in partnership with the Friends of the park community groups, as well as the local community to roll out the new recycling bins in parks in June 2022. The six parks were Belleisle, Corsehill Park, Fullarton Woods, Troon, Newton Park, Rozelle in Ayr and Victory Park in Girvan.

Steven Parker, Business Development Manager at Leafield Environmental said:

“At Leafield, we were delighted to win the tender to work in partnership with South Ayrshire Council on their new recycling on-the-go schemes in parks. Our Maxi Recycling Bins met their specification because our black units are made from up to 100% recycled plastic** and the specifically shaped apertures and corresponding labels help clearly identify the waste streams in question. The Council also like the future-proofing aspect of our bins, whereby instead of purchasing a brand-new bin, apertures and labels can be easily changed to identify a different waste stream, should the need arise.”

South Ayrshire Council grouped together three Maxi recycling bins to form recycling points across the parks. One collected litter and dog fouling, one collected metal, plastics and cartons and the third collected for paper, card and cardboard. Leafield were able to match the colours of the recycling labels and apertures to the household waste collection bins in South Ayrshire, so residents were able to recognise what and where to recycle items more easily.

Paul Dougall, Coordinator of Neighbourhood Services at South Ayrshire Council commented on their new recycling on-the-go scheme:

“We selected Leafield Environmental because we liked the flexibility of changing the recycling labels and aperture colours to collect different waste streams in line with our household bin collections. We also liked that the bins featured a tilted sack retention frame so we could easily see any contaminated waste through the transparent bin bags, rather than having a steel or plastic liner inside the bin. The keyless locking system also eased the emptying process during the rollout phase when analysis was taking place.”

Increasing recycling rates…

South Ayrshire Council has worked closely with Zero Waste Scotland to provide waste analysis during the first 14 weeks of installing the new recycling bins. This involved the Council refuse teams recording data sheets on the correct waste collected in each bin as well as contamination. The weight for each waste stream group was then measured and a percentage was calculated weekly whilst emptying the bins.

Paul Dougall, Coordinator of Neighbourhood Services at South Ayrshire Council concluded on the new recycling on-the-go scheme analysis:

“During the first 14 weeks, 36.8% total volume of waste collected has been recycled, which is an excellent start considering we didn’t collect any recyclable waste in these parks previously. Our refuse teams have done an incredible job, tracking the data to provide Zero Waste Scotland with our analysis to support our grant funding for this recycling on-the-go project. Some parks are performing better than others, so we are now focusing on what we can learn and implement across all parks to increase participation and avoid contamination. Initial and ongoing feedback from local residents has been positive, with no overflowing issues and the desire to keep their parks litter free. Our initial analysis shows we are increasing the quantity and quality of recycling in these parks by implementing the new recycling bins and we continue to measure its success.”


*Data obtained by Zero Waste Scotland Report on data for the period of June to September 2022.

**Subject to availability. 

For more information on Leafield’s external recycling bins call Leafield Environmental on 01225 816541, email [email protected] or visit