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Monday, May 29, 2023

Waste Management Update Welcomed  

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Highland Councillors have welcomed an update on the Council’s management of waste in the region.

Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chair of Communities and Place Committee said:

“A huge amount of great work has been achieved and is ongoing to ensure that Highland Council meets its waste management obligations.

“I would like to thank all the staff for their hard work and innovative approaches to ensuring that Highland improves its future recycling.”

A report to the Communities and Place Committee highlighted that construction of 3 new waste transfer stations are complete or under way:

  • a waste transfer station at Aviemore is complete and the facility is expected to become fully operational this autumn
  • the construction programme for Inverness waste transfer station is well under way and is scheduled for completion towards the end of January 2023 and to be operational from April 2023; and
  • the Council is working to secure a ground lease for a waste transfer development site and to have a facility in place and operational for late summer/early autumn 2024 in Fort William.

Members were informed that Recycling Improvement Funding secured by the Council has enabled the expansion of its garden waste collection service and that digital technologies are supporting changes in service delivery by improving ‘route optimisation’.

Highland Council collects waste and other recyclable materials from around 119,000 domestic premises and operates one of the largest business waste collection services of any local authority in Scotland, providing a service to around 6,000 customers across the region.

The street cleanliness score of 95% for Highland Council area in 2022/21 was 4.9% higher than the Scottish average of 90.1%.

When asked, ‘How satisfied are residents with local refuse collection?’ – 87.8% of Highland residents indicated they were satisfied during 2020/21, placing Highland second highest of the 32 Scottish local authorities (and 13.5% above the Scottish average satisfaction rate of 74.3%).

Members were updated on the non-statutory garden waste service for which the Council charges customers.

Current expansion of this service is focusing on areas of high housing growth in East Inverness; including Tornagrain, Stratton, Ardersier and Croy and Drumnadrochit.

From the beginning of September 2022 communities in Caithness, Watten and Dunnett will also be offered the service.

In Autumn this year, Councillors were informed that a kerbside sampling exercise of waste presented by householders (in green, blue, brown and grey food caddy bins) will be carried out.

A ‘waste composition analysis’ will be conducted in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland from 250 households.

Findings from the survey will help inform the Council on the best way to improve services and increase recycling in the region.

The award of a major residual waste contract this year that will enable the Council to achieve legal compliance with the landfill ban ahead of schedule was highlighted to Members. 

Further information on Highland Council’s recycling services can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/recycle

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