BRINGING in a fifth bin for glass collection in Fife would cost too much and be bad for the environment.

And councillors were told it wouldn't lead to a big increase in recycling either as too many people "just don't care" where they put their rubbish.

Glass is not collected at the kerbside in the Kingdom – it is in Edinburgh and Stirling – and residents are encouraged to take their bottles and jars to recycling points, although many dump their empties in the blue landfill bin instead.

Asked, at a recent meeting, why Fife Council does not offer a glass collection service, Councillor Ross Vettraino responded: “The huge assumption is that all of the glass in the landfill bins would be recovered.

"It wouldn’t. There is glass in the landfill bins because the people who put it there just don’t care.

"A kerbside recycling service would not significantly increase the amount of glass recycled by the council.

“There is no economic justification for having a kerbside glass collection.”

The issue was raised again last year by Dunfermline councillor James Calder, who said it would help the council prevent fly-tipping and potentially reduce the number of recycling points.

But Cllr Vettraino said the sums just don't add up, explaining: "It is the case that the kerbside scheme could only improve the current economics if it managed to divert the glass that is wrongly put into the landfill bins into the proper waste stream.

"In 2017, such glass amounted to 3,518 tonnes. If that amount could be recovered, it would realise an annual saving of £312,000 in landfill tax and an increase in income of £64,750. A total financial benefit of £376, 750.

“Against that however, it would take an additional five refuse vehicles working a double shift to provide a four weekly glass collection to the 150,000 domestic premises, excluding flats, in Fife.

"The annual additional vehicle cost in the first year would be capital repayments of £80,000, borrowing costs of £9,800, running costs of £51,000 and manpower costs of £280,000, for a total of £420,800, which would increase year on year.

“What I haven’t included is the cost to purchase another 150,000 boxes or bins to contain the glass, which could be in excess of £2m."

Pressed on the environmental impact of people using their cars to get rid of glass, he said: "People are not forced to make special journeys to travel to recycling bins to dispose of glass.

“Someone from my household goes to a supermarket once a week. Depending on the route chosen, that person will pass two or three recycling points, and depending on the supermarket, may also find a recycling point there.

“I will concede that some people may have no local recycling point within walking distance, or who can not walk, or have no family or friends to help them and have no option but to take their car.

"And I will concede that this car journey will have an impact on Fife’s carbon footprint.

"But that impact pales in comparison to the impact that five or six additional refuse vehicles would have as they rumble about Fife on a two-shift system.”