Zero Waste Appeal to Council on Twelfth Night

EMBARGOED until 0930 hours, Friday 5 January 2007

Edinburgh Greens are appealing for a new approach to waste on the night that Christmas decorations are traditionally taken down.

Prospective council candidate Alison Johnstone has written to the leader of Edinburgh City Council, Ewan Aitken, asking that the authority introduces a ‘zero waste’ policy, which aims to  reduce as much as possible the waste we produce. [1]

Greens are also appealing to people to consider composting their Christmas trees, cardboard greetings cards and wrapping paper. [2]

Ms Johnstone, who is standing in Meadows/Morningside in this year’s city council election [3], said:

‘Twelfth Night is the night we should really rethink our waste, because it’s the time when there’s a lot of it about. Christmas trees, cards, cardboard and wrapping paper can all be composted.

‘But zero waste – using resources again and again so we dispose of very little – would make businesses a lot more efficient and communities would not longer have to deal with mountains of waste. This would save the council cash and create jobs, boost enterprise and innovation, reduce litter, and ensure Edinburgh’s economy and environment thrive.’


[1] Greens support the introduction of zero waste policies. These focus
on: redesign (ensuring everything is made re-usable or recyclable); reduce (the amount of packaging we use); re-use (pass unwanted items onto someone else); repair (fix items rather than buy new ones) refurbish (take care of items so that they last longer); recycle (and compost)

Further background information and/or a feature on zero waste for publication can be provided upon request.

[2] The council’s advice for recycling real Christmas trees is that they should be put out beside wheeled bins on the normal rubbish collection day in the week 8 to 12 January. Trees will be collected by a separate vehicle and recycled into compost. If the tree is over six feet tall it should be cut up first. Trees can also be cut up and put in brown bins, taken to a community recycling centre, or composted in a domestic compost bin. For further information, telephone the council on
0131 529 3030, email, or visit

[3] Edinburgh Greens are standing in all 17 council wards for the first time and are confident of achieving the 12-18% of votes that will see a minimum of four Green councillors elected to the city council.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, please telephone Jill Boulton on 0131 622 0318 / 07919 210 126.