MORE than £13 million has been awarded to local authorities to improve recycling around the country.

The nine local authorities are the latest to successfully bid for support from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund, bringing the total investment to date to £20 million.

They include the Western Isles, which has been awarded £784,458 for the expansion of collection services and an electric vehicle, and Edinburgh, which was granted £7,698,200 to upgrade and expand recycling collection services.

The Scottish Government said the investment to date could reduce CO2 emissions by as much 21,400 tonnes each year – the equivalent of taking 11,400 cars off the road.

The Recycling Improvement Fund will total £70 million over five years.

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said: “This is one of the biggest investments in recycling in Scotland in a generation. By providing the support that’s needed to modernise local recycling infrastructure, we can help local authorities significantly improve their recycling performance.

“That won’t just make it easier for households to recycle more – it will also make an important contribution to meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate targets.

“I look forward to seeing these projects deliver for local communities and the environment, and to further innovative ideas from local authorities on how they can utilise this fund to improve recycling in their area.

“We also want to see materials remain in use for as long as possible before they are recycled. To help make that happen, we will also be introducing an ambitious Circular Economy Bill during this parliament.”

The other local authorities awarded funding in the latest round are West Lothian, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, North Ayrshire, Midlothian, Dundee and Clackmannanshire.