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The frequently asked questions below will help with any queries you have about the review of waste management in East Ayrshire.

Why was the review necessary?

Our Waste Management Service is facing several challenges, which will affect the ways in which we can deliver the service within the context of the Council’s wider budget reductions.

What changes are proposed?

Our proposals include:

  • Introduce a £30 annual charge per bin for the collection of garden waste from March 2021
  • Stop separate collection arrangements for nappies and medical waste from 1 April 2020

Why is the charge being introduced for garden waste?

As garden waste collection is not a statutory service, and with reducing budgets and increasing costs, the Council can no longer afford to provide this service for free. 

However, residents can continue to dispose of garden waste free of charge at their local waste recycling centre.

We would also like to encourage more households to compost their own garden waste, and we will be offering a 50% discount on home composting kits, which will be available for around £15.

Are other councils doing the same?

Yes, nine of Scotland’s 32 councils have already applied an annual charge for the collection of garden waste and many more are considering this as an option for their 2020/21 budgets. Experience of those who have charges in place indicates that there remains a significant demand, with around 50% of households willing to pay for this service.

How much income will the Council generate from this charge?

Income levels will depend upon the uptake of the scheme:
Anticipated income
Total households with gardens% UptakeAnnual ChargeAnticipated Income


30% (low)




40% (med)




50% (high)



When will this charge start?

This proposed charge will take effect from March 2021.

Why are you proposing to stop the separate collection service for nappies and medical waste?

The removal of this special collection will help to reduce costs and will benefit the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of our waste collection service. We originally introduced this service to support the move to the three weekly collection of residual waste, but as these arrangements have evolved, it is now possible to dispose of nappies and medical waste in the residual waste bins, in the same way as dog waste.

I have a number of children in nappies, can I request an additional residual waste bin?

Yes. However, we would like to encourage parents to choose more environmentally friendly solutions and as part of this proposal we will provide free re-usable fabric nappies for the entire period from birth to potty training. The costs of this scheme will be offset by the reduced costs of disposing of non-biodegradable disposable nappies.

What does it cost to dispose of household waste?

Last year, the Council disposed of around 35,000 tonnes of household waste at a cost of £3,500,000. We expect these costs to increase by a further £1,000,000 as a result of the biodegradable waste ban.

To help us tackle climate change and mitigate against increasing disposal costs, we would encourage everyone to recycle as much as they can. Every tonne of waste that can be directed away from your residual bin and in to your recycling trolley or food caddy saves the Council around £100.

What other steps can I take to help to tackle climate change?

We would like to encourage more people to recycle their food waste. When food waste ends up in landfill, it releases methane gas, which is a significant driver of climate change.

Approximately 50% of our households do not recycle their food waste, yet food waste poses a greater threat to the environment than plastic and is an area where we can all make a real difference. By recycling your food waste, you will be helping to reduce our disposal costs and allow that waste it to be processed into energy, making a positive impact on our environment.

How else can I help?

We are fortunate to have such fairer, kinder connected communities in East Ayrshire. We know that many of you already help neighbours and relatives to get their bins out to the kerbside, however, as our population is living longer, there are more and more people relying on this dedicated service. Our recycling crews need to provide assistance to around 6,000 households.

It takes considerably longer for our refuse crews to help those unable to bring their bins to the kerbside and significant productivity savings could be achieved by encouraging our vibrant communities to help.

Members of our Youth Cabinet have already expressed a willingness to assist in pulling out bins. This will provide an inter-generational learning opportunity to exchange information on how best to reduce and recycle food waste.

We are encouraging you to help by volunteering to check in with your vulnerable neighbours and commit to help get their bins to the kerbside.

Will there be any further engagement with communities?

Yes. We plan to continue our Vibrant Voices engagement with a dedicated conversation specifically around waste in the near future. This will provide our communities with the opportunity to help to inform our proposals to encourage greater levels of recycling and to explain how people can help to volunteer with assisted collections. This will include consideration of moving to the four weekly collection of residual waste.

Contact Information

Corporate Support
Council Headquarters
London Road
Telephone: 01563 576075

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