Dunbar becomes Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town


A pilot project has made Dunbar in East Lothian the first Scottish Zero Waste Town.

If successful, the accolade of Zero Waste Town could be awarded to other Scottish communities that see its residents and businesses reduce waste, recycle more and use resources efficiently.


The pilot project will see a number of initiatives introduced including:

  • Opening a facility to help making reuse of goods easier
  • Local engagement drives to help households waste less food and use food waste recycling collections
  • Educational programmes with local schools
  • Initiatives to reduce litter such as on street ‘recycle on the go’ bins which fit in with the town’s historic landscapes.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “It’s fantastic that Dunbar has set an example and become Scotland’s first ever Zero Waste Town, demonstrating the community’s firm commitment to making real progress in resource management at a local level.

“This innovative programme will help the town recycle more, send less to landfill and use our precious resources more efficiently. I wish everyone involved in this initiative the best of luck and I hope it will create valuable experiences that other communities around Scotland can benefit from as we strive to make Scotland a zero waste country.”

Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland said: “Getting everyone in Scotland’s communities on board with our vision to eliminate waste, for the benefit of local economies and the environment, is absolutely vital. Scotland has set ambitious targets to achieve a recycling rate of 70 per cent and reduce the waste produced by 15 per cent by 2025. To achieve this everyone must play their part.

“Working to become a Zero Waste Town will be a great way to bring communities together, working towards a shared goal. Hopefully, the pilot project in Dunbar will provide great examples of best practice which we can recreate in other towns across Scotland.”