Chapter 9.2.3 Invest in facilities

Create a statutory requirement for reuse facilities

Require local authorities to provide reuse facilities, with central funding.

UK Govt
Scottish Govt
Local Authorities
Emissions reduction
Behaviour change

Currently local authority recycling sites in Scotland are geared towards recycling rather than reuse. Many have no provision for reuse at all, while others are inadequate. Currently, too many items which could be reused are being sent for recycling or even incineration or landfill.

There is a mixed picture for reuse services at Scottish recycling centres, with examples of good practice and collaboration in some areas. Three local authority sites243 have co-location with a reuse project, which should be considered best practice for reuse.

The Scottish Government should create a statutory requirement for high-quality “Set Aside for Reuse” facilities at every local authority Household Waste Recycling Centre in Scotland.244 This requirement should also state that local authorities should prioritise donating appropriate materials to local social enterprises wherever practical to do so. We would also support these sites being renamed in line with circular economy values, for example ‘Resource Centres.’

Investment should target:

  • prioritising reuse for site visitors – set-aside for reuse should be the first and most visible option on entry
  • clear signage and directions for site visitors
  • weather-proof storage facilities to protect donations
  • investing in site staff education around set-aside for reuse
  • supporting on-site collaboration with circular economy organisations
  • investing in public education campaigns around reuse and circular economy

Items donated at these facilities should be passed on to circular economy organisations to further stimulate the local economy.

A comprehensive baseline assessment of the current reuse and preparing for reuse services at every recycling centre in Scotland is required. Disabled peoples’ organisations should be involved in the design of facilities for recycling, reuse and repair.

For further information:


Stranraer, Moray, and Oban


A similar requirement has recently become law in Greece. Integrated framework for Waste Management Article 18, required all local authorities (municipalities) with a population over 20,000 inhabitants to develop and operate at least one Centre for the Creative Reuse of Materials.

Version 1.0: September 2023

The contents of this document will be updated on a regular basis.