LOCAL residents have urged East Lothian Council to ditch recycling boxes for wheelie bins after the local authority produced a video about the recycling process.

Calls by locals for the switch have come as the council confirmed that the overall recycling rate in East Lothian has risen to more than 50 per cent.

A petition has been started calling for recycling boxes to be replaced by wheelie bins: it can be found here.

In a post on social media, which includes a video that explains the recycling process locally, the local authority revealed that the recycling rate in the county is now at 54 per cent.

See the video by clicking the link in the tweet below. . .

Recycling in action on #WorldEnvironmentDay
Thanks to the efforts of local residents the overall recycling rate in East Lothian is now at 54%! Check out the new video showing the recycling journey - https://t.co/07RZcS1GMX pic.twitter.com/KmBx8CGY19

However, local residents have taken to the council's post on Facebook to encourage the local authority to ditch recycling boxes, and replace them with designated wheelie bins.

April Robertson wrote: "Come on East Lothian, we need a wheelie bin," adding: "Sick of having loads of boxes cluttering up my garden. They're a nightmare give us big wheelie bins to store everything in."

Lauren Martin added: "We need to follow Edinburgh and Midlothian with wheelie bin recycling, I’m sick of picking up all the excess when it’s windy!"

And Heather Young said: "The boxes aren't fit for purpose and people keep telling the council that."

A council spokesperson said there were no plans to introduce additional wheelie bins.

"Our boxes allow us to monitor the material we recycle and ensure we can collect high quality materials, free from contamination - we are then able to send high-quality materials to reprocessors," said the spokesperson.

"A wheeled bin collection system, however, has resulted in significant costs for local authorities. Wheeled bins increase contamination levels by between 20 and 40 per cent.

"There are then costs per tonne in treatment to ensure that the material can, in fact, be sent for reprocessing and, in some cases, authorities have had entire loads rejected to then be sent for landfill.

"If we introduced wheeled bins for recycling and attracted similar levels of contamination that other authorities are finding, this would be an additional cost to the council - and therefore residents - as much as £1.2m per annum."

The local authority said it would cost about £2milion in capital funding to supply all properties with wheeled bins for recycling. 

The spokesperson added: "We acknowledge the issues associated with the boxes themselves but they are the best option available at present. We’re committed to ensuring that we achieve the highest recycling percentages possible and that the cost to do so is sustainable."