In comparison to other Scottish cities, Dundee has reasonable but not exceptional recycling facilities. You are unlikely to be more than a short walk from a bottle bank and paper bank. Aluminium cans, cardboard, and certain plastics are accepted in some recycling facilities but there still remains a large amount of recyclables going to landfill.
Glass and paper
These are easy enough to recycle in Dundee as there are plenty of glass and paper recycling bins scattered throughout the city. In rougher areas the paper banks are sometimes set alight and may be removed for a few days, or altogether. However there are still plenty of other facilities within walking distance of the universities, the town centre, and attached to major supermarkets. Some, although not all, paper banks accept cardboard or there may be a separate bin. Paper is also collected in the ‘blue bins’ in some areas.
Only aluminium in accepted in the can banks. All those steel tins for food will have to go into general waste unless you regularly travel to somewhere like Glasgow where they are collected for recycling.
Only certain plastic containers can be recycled outside of the three main recycling centres. If the bottle or container shows PET, HDPE, or a 1 or 2 in a triangle on it will be recycled. This includes nearly all the bottles used for sodas and water. There is a convenient recycling point on Gellaty street in the city centre, which also accepts aluminium cans. Other plastic containers are made of different materials, or don’t state what they are, and these need to be taken to a main centre.
There are no collection services for compostable materials, or indeed anything else, in many parts of Dundee. You can buy a compost bin at a substantial discount from the council but this requires access to a garden or allotment. In a few areas the council is running the ‘brown bin’ collection service and this does make recycling kitchen and garden waste much easier.
Ink cartridges can be refilled in computer supplies shops, including one on Crichton Street in the centre. Mobile phones can be disposed of in phone shops or sent to charities. There are a couple of textile banks but wearable old clothes are best given to one of the charity shops. Larger items of furniture and white goods will be collected by several charitable outfits, just call to arrange a time.
All of the above can also be disposed off at the main recycling centres. These are located on Piper Street, Harefield Road, and Wright Avenue and usually open from 9am till 8pm (weekdays) or 5pm (weekends) in the summer, and 9am till 4.15 (seven days) in the winter.
If you live in Dundee and don’t have access to a car then you might not find this the easiest town to do your recycling in, although it is by no means impossible. If you are finding it difficult then it is worth contacting the council or your MP and stating your case. There might be a solution and at the least they will know people want more convenient facilities.