Recycling and climate action


For the last couple of months, we have been looking for responses to a survey to gauge people’s knowledge and habits around climate action. 

To date 40 people have responded to the survey from Moray down to Dumfries & Galloway and many areas in between. All age groups over 16 have had representation with around 40% over the age of 55.  So far 85% of the people who responded to the survey described themselves as female, 25% as New Scots & 15% considered themselves to have a disability. 

One of the themes that came through strongly in the survey results was Recycling & Upcycling. 


Recycling of Household Waste

According to our survey results and conversations we have had with people in communities there appears to be inconsistency across Scotland for Local Authority kerbside recycling.  Some Local Authorities provide the full range of kerbside collections whilst others only provide a few meaning people need to travel to Recycling Centres if they wish to recycle more.  Garden waste, food waste and glass are some of the materials that people have said their Local Authority does not provide a kerbside collection for.  Other Local Authorities charge an annual fee for garden waste collection. 

People commented:  

“We don’t have garden or food waste collections, if we did, we would use them” 

“Our council doesn’t offer garden waste pick up you need to take it to the recycle centre, if you don’t have a car, it’s difficult to get to so it just goes in the black bin” 

The results back this up with 83% responding that they always recycle their household rubbish in the bins provided but that drops to around 50% for garden and food waste recycling with 34% responding that they never recycle garden or food waste. 

When asked what would help people to recycle more they said: 

“Clearer recycling info from council” 

“Waste collections need to be simpler – too complicated” 

“Easier access to glass recycling within cities especially if you don’t drive” 

“Longer opening hours for recycling centres” 

“More local recycling centres in villages/small towns” 


Recycling & Upcycling Clothes & Furniture

Over 80% of the people who responded to the survey said that they recycled, upcycled, bought, sold, donated or repaired clothes and furniture the majority of the time with 13% saying they would like to do it more and learn how to do it more through classes or workshops.  

“Most of my clothes come from charity shops” 

“I would like to know how to recycle clothes to create new stuff” 

“I’d love to give more baby clothes and items to charity shops, but I don’t drive so can’t get them there” 


Overall, the general consensus from the people we have spoken to and those who responded to the survey is that they are keen to recycle more and understand that it is something that they can do to take climate action and help meet the net zero targets but it needs to be both easy and convenient for people to do so. 


For more information about our Climate Chats check out our website:  

We recently produced a resource on how to contact your Councillors, MSPs and MP, you can find it here: Contacting your elected representatives