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Caithness News Bulletins September 2004

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Council Will Build Recycling Centres At Wick And Thurso


The Highland Council has today (Wednesday 29th September) welcomed the award of 49 million from the Scottish Executive's Strategic Waste Fund (SWF) to help improve recycling throughout the Highlands.

A five-point plan of action is geared to increasing the waste recycled to 27,264 tonnes ~ 17.6% - by March 2006.

Councillor Charlie King, Chairman of The Highland Council's Transport, Environment and Community Services Committee, said: "This is great news for the Council and enables us to better meet the public's expectations on recycling. While the funding period extends until 2020, we have plans to make an early impact, increasing the amount of waste we recycle from the current level of 3% to 17.6% within two years.

Councillor Bill Fulton, Council spokesman for waste management, added: "This money will be used to expand the successful pilot recycling schemes we already have in place and will allow us to introduce new initiatives that will cut down on the amount of waste going to our landfill sites. The wide geographical spread and rural population of communities in the Highlands makes many of the schemes used in other local authority areas unviable. We need to come up with creative ways of making our recycling schemes sustainable and accessible.

"Our schools have been instrumental in making young people aware of the importance of reducing the amount of rubbish we dispose of. It is very important that recycling initiatives are supported by educational campaigns to raise awareness. As people become more responsive and conscientious about recycling their waste, their expectations for opportunities to do it locally increase. If we use this award wisely our recycling rate should improve by over 14% within the next two years."

"However, procuring the vehicles and equipment to improve the situation may take a little time due to the pressure on suppliers and manufacturers. For example the delivery date of vehicles if ordered now may be as long as spring or summer 2005."

The Council plans to: -

  • Upgrade existing civic amenity sites to recycling centres by expanding the range of materials segregated from the waste stream which could include garden waste, wood, scrap metal, furniture, paper, card, cans, rubble, textiles, glass, batteries, tyres and oil. This is expected to increase
    Council~s recycling rate by 4%.

  • Build four new recycling centres in Dingwall, Nairn, Thurso and Wick to add a further 2% to the rate.

  •  Expand the network of recycling points to ensure an average density of one recycling point for every 500 households, in line with national best practice guidance. This should see a recycling point for every community of 100 or more households. Each point should have paper, glass, can & textile
    banks. It is hoped this measure will increase recycling in the Highland Council area by 3%.

  • Offer a kerbside recycling service to 42,500 homes in areas of Inverness, Nairn, East Ross, Thurso and Wick by March 2006. This service will consist of a fortnightly collection of dry recyclables, and a fortnightly collection of green garden waste. A kerbside recycling service for paper and green garden wastes will also be offered in Fort William. The schemes are forecast to increase recycling by 5%.

  • Undertake waste awareness and promotion campaigns to support the new schemes, focusing on maximising participation in recycling schemes and on minimising waste arising.

Introducing these measures and developing those already in place will allow the Council to recycle a 27,260 tonnes of waste in 2005/06.

In 2002/03, a total of 143,134 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) was collected by The Highland Council from 102,089 households and 4,529 commercial premises. 3% of this was recycled and a further 0.2% composted, with 96.8% being disposed of to landfill.