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Sunday, April 21, 2024

36% of Contents of Average Refuse Bin Could be Recycled or Composted

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Members at the Communities and Place Committee were updated on a series of Waste Projects and approved Highland Council’s amended Household Waste Policy. 

An update was provided on the progress of the phased introduction of waste and recycling collection service changes, which is being funded through the Scottish Government Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF). 

This included the details of the comprehensive communications and engagement plan, which has been developed to support householders and business through the transition to the new waste and recycling collection service.

The roll-out will begin from April next year. 

The existing green general waste bin will be converted to collect the containers mix (plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays, cans, tins, foil, and cartons). 

The existing blue bin currently used for mixed recycling will be converted to collect the fibre mix (paper/card). 

Households in receipt of the weekly food waste recycling service will be provided with a new grey 140 litre general waste bin while all other households will be provided with a new grey 180 litre general waste bin. 

There will be a significant expansion of food waste collections, details of areas that are included in the expansion are included in Item 8

The Household Waste Policy was updated to reflect the change in waste and recycling services. 

The main change to the policy reflects future household bin provision and the circumstances where additional bin capacity can be provided. 

The new policy can be seen in Item 8 of the report presented to members today.

Sections 7 to 12 in the appendix of the report contain the relevant information on bin provision. 

Chair of Highland Council’s Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham MacKenzie, said:

“The service changes are essential to achieving a sustainable collection service model, particularly against the backdrop of a large budget deficit. 

“An overall forecasted positive position will be achieved through a reduction in costs associated with residual waste treatment and through improving the quality and quantity of recycling that we collect.” 

Councillors also approved the introduction of a six-month trial at Inverness Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) to understand the impacts of amending entry guidance to allow vans and trailers to deposit limited quantities of DIY waste. 

It is anticipated that the trial will provide sufficient information to understand the operational and budget impacts of changing the entry guidance for vans and trailers across the Highland area.

Details about the trail will be advertised at the Inverness HWRC in due course. 

All other Highland Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) will continue to apply existing controls for the acceptance of DIY waste in a van or trailer as per the current policy

The policy states there is a restriction on vans, trailers and other large loads of waste containing construction and demolition wastes to reduce the costs connected to mainly unauthorised waste from business activities.  

Members also noted the progress being made to secure a Waste Transfer Station in Fort William. 

Highland Council’s Waste Service is seeking to construct a Waste Transfer Station on ground adjacent to the existing Household Waste Recycling Centre at Ben Nevis Industrial Estate. 

It is anticipated that determination of the planning application (23/02722/FUL) will take place at the South Area Planning Committee on 12 December 2023.

Negotiations are progressing for a long-term ground lease.

Should these be positively concluded, and should the planning application be successful, Council officers will work towards the Waste Transfer Station being constructed and operational by late 2024/early 2025. 

Chair of the Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham MacKenzie, said:

“This new waste facility would support the introduction of service change for the Lochaber area as part of the Highland-wide Recycling Improvement Fund investment.” 

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