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30 March 06
Halkirk Gets Kerbside Recycling
Following on from the success of the Kerbside recycling collections which began last April in Wick and Thurso, The Highland Council has decided to expand the service to include another 350 households in Halkirk on the garden waste collection service. Each household on the route in Halkirk has recently been supplied with an additional brown wheelie bin and a Kerbside recycling calendar giving the collection dates. The new recycling collections will start on Friday 14 April 2006 and will operate on a fortnightly basis. The normal refuse collection will be unaffected.

10 January 06
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of everyone living in the region The Highland Council is on course to reach its recycling target of 17.6% by April 2006.

Councillor Bill Fulton, the Councilís spokesperson for Waste Management said: "Over the last year there have been major investment in the recycling infrastructure and to date the support from the public has been terrific. However, as the amount of waste we produce steadily increases there is no room for complacency if the current success is to be continued."

In 2005 The Highland Council opened four new Recycling Centres in Thurso, Wick, Dingwall and Nairn, and a number of other sites have been upgraded including major renovations at Henderson Drive in Inverness. Overall the Recycling Centres are exceeding their target, over 7000 tonnes in the first half of 2005/6, however thereís still room for improvement.

The Council is currently expanding the number of Recycling Points in the region and so far have deployed about 170 out of a target of 200. All of these sites currently take glass, most take paper and cans and in the future the hope is to have textile banks at as many as possible. Although these sites are slightly underperforming, only hitting 2400 tonnes out of a target of 2475 (97%) there is still room for a vast improvement. There are around 8000 tonnes of glass present in the household waste stream in Highland and currently only about 50% of this glass is made available for the Highland Council to send for reprocessing.

Kerbside recycling provided to about 46,500 houses gives the householder the opportunity to address their waste on two fronts, green waste in their brown bin and paper and tins/cans in their blue box. Green waste collections have surpassed all expectations. This is great news in the fight to reduce green house gas emissions caused by biodegradable material going to landfill. However, the blue box collection tells a different story. While the amount of paper collected is just under target at about 87% of the expected tonnage , the amount of food tins and drinks cans collected is disappointing. The collection is currently only recovering 15% of the expected tonnage.

Councillor Fulton said: "While the overall picture is one of success and we have the real possibility of reaching our recycling rate of 17.6% by April, the amount of waste we all create is growing and therefore the amount of materials we need to recycle to maintain this success is growing. Christmas is a time when we buy more, eat more and drink more than usual. Approximately 40,000 tonnes of Aluminium is thrown away in the UK and we creating approximately 30% more waste over the holiday period, the majority of which normally ends up in landfill. Up to 60% of the waste that is thrown away could be recycled or composted.

"It is also estimated that for every tonne of waste produced in our homes, five tonnes has already been produced in manufacturing and 10 tonnes at the point where the raw material was extracted.  So before congratulating ourselves on what we have already done, lets all have a think about what we can do in the future."

19 December 05
Recycling Arrangements in Caithness over the holidays.

Over the Christmas period it is estimated that we will produce approximately 30% more waste than usual. In the UK,1 billion Christmas cards will be sent, 10 million turkeys will be sold 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper used, seven and a half million trees bought, an extra 750 million bottles, glass containers and 500 million drink cans used. Most of these items are thrown in to people's bins and end up on landfill sites. However, up to 60% of the waste that is thrown away can be recycled or composted.

The Highland Council's Spokesman for Waste Management, Councillor Bill Fulton said: "This Christmas why not make a special effort to try and reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill by using the improved recycling facilities in Caithness provided by The Highland Council?"

The Recycling Centres in Thurso and Wick will be open as usual apart from closing all day of 25-27 December and the 1-4 January. Apart from these dates, the Thurso Centre will be open seven days a week from 11am-4.00pm over the holidays and Wick will be open Sundays from 11.00am ~ 5.00pm and then from Thursday to Saturday from 11.00am to 8.00pm. Both Centres will accept your extra cardboard packaging, old real Christmas trees, Christmas cards, paper wrapping paper (plastic & foil based paper cannot be recycled), tins, cans, glass bottles & jars for recycling.

There are also 13 Recycling Points throughout Caithness including several new sites at Thrumster, Watten and Dunbeath. All these sites have been upgraded to accept paper (including paper wrapping paper and Christmas cards), tins, cans and glass bottles & jars for recycling.

If you have a Kerbside Recycling collection from your property don't forget to recycle your Christmas cards, paper wrapping paper, extra food tins and drink cans using your recycling box after Christmas. Old real Christmas trees can also be put out in your brown bin but please make sure they are cut into easy to manage pieces and put in the bin.

Councillor Bill Fulton added: "Instead of throwing away all your vegetable and fruit peeling, start your own compost heap this Christmas and by this time next year, you will have free, nutritious compost to help make your garden flourish. Also last years old toys and unwanted gifts can be donated to your local charity shop rather than throwing them away as there is sure to be someone who will appreciate them."

For more information about waste minimisation and recycling or to find your nearest Recycling Point please call 01349 868439, visit www.highland.gov.uk  or email recycle@highland.gov.uk

14 November 05
New Recycling Centre Opens in Dingwall

Scotland's Environment watchdog, SEPA, today welcomed the opening of another new Recycling Centre by Highland Council in Dingwall. The centre, set to open on Tuesday 15th November, brings the number of Recycling Centres in Highland to 21, with four new centres having been opened in 2005.
SEPA's Waste Strategy Area Co-ordinator for Highland, Beverley Clark said: "I am very pleased to see the progress being made in Highland. A huge amount of work has been undertaken over the past 10 months to tackle the issue of waste and resource use in the Highlands. Significant investment from the Scottish Executive has enabled Highland Council to introduce a range of new facilities to make it easier for householders in Highland to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost their waste."
The Highland Area Waste Plan identifies the infrastructure that is needed to handle waste throughout the area, and sets recycling and composting targets up to the year 2020. Recent recycling and composting figures compiled by SEPA for 2004/5 indicate that Highland is making significant progress towards the national recycling and composting targets.  Beverley Clark continues: "During this first year of AWP implementation Highland Council has employed a number of new staff, covering operational, education and awareness-raising to assist in the distribution of over 42,500 kerbside recycling bins/boxes to householders in many parts of the Highlands. It is anticipated that Highland Council will be recycling around 18% of its municipal waste by March 2006.  "We have made real progress over the last year but the work doesn't stop here, we have to continue to work together if we are to achieve sustainable waste management solutions for Highland".
Further information on the Highland AWP can be viewed on the SEPA website http://www.sepa.org.uk/nws 
* Information on recycling figures in Scotland can be found on SEPA's website: http://www.sepa.org.uk/nws/data/returns.htm

8 November 05
Thurso Recycling Centre NOW OPEN At Janetstown
The new Recycling Centre at Janetstown near Thurso was officially opened today (Monday 7 November) by Area Chairman of TEC Services, Councillor John Green and Councillor Bill Fulton, The Highland Council's Depute Chairman of TEC Services with responsibility for waste management. Householders will now be able to take their cans, car batteries, cardboard, electrical appliances, engine oil, garden waste, glass bottles & jars, paper, rubble and soil, scrap metal, textiles, tyres, white goods and wood to the Recycling Centre. A special container will also be available for people to donate unwanted furniture and household goods to Homeaid Caithness for reuse.

24 October 05

A new Recycling Centre at Janetstown near Thurso is due to be opened on Monday 7th November 2005. Funded by the Scottish Strategic Waste Fund, the Centre will employ 2 new members of staff to operate the facility which will be open 7 days a week.

Local firm, John Gunn & Son was contracted by the Council to build the new facility which took approximately 12 weeks to complete.

Householders will now be able to take cans, car batteries, cardboard, electrical appliances, engine oil, garden waste, gas cylinders, glass bottles and jars, paper, rubble & soil, scrap metal, textiles, tyres, white goods and wood to the site where separate containers and skips will be available to collect the material to be recycled. A special container will be provided for people to donate furniture and household goods to Homeaid Caithness for reuse.

Householders will be met at the site entrance by an operative who will direct them to the correct containers and are advised to separate their waste before they go the site. The Recycling Centre will be open from 11am - 4pm seven days a week.

It is hoped that 60% of the waste that is taken to the Recycling Centre will be recycled and add 2.5% to the Council's 18% recycling target.

From 1st November 2005 the Wick Recycling Centre will be operating winter opening hours and will be open from 11.00am - 4.00pm seven days a week. There is also a recycling facility at the Seater Landfill which now accepts cans, car batteries, cardboard, electrical appliances, engine oil, garden waste, gas cylinders, glass bottles & jars, paper, rubble & soil, scrap metal, white goods and wood for recycling and is open Monday-Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm and Saturdays 8.00am-12.00pm.

For further information about recycling in your area please telephone 01349 868439, visit www.highland.gov.uk  or email recycle@highland.gov.uk .