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Sunday, June 16, 2024

When Nature Calls in The Outdoors…Bag It, Bin It!

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Need the loo out of doors in the Highlands?

Then ‘Bag It, Bin It’ urges Highland Council’s summer campaign to clamp down on human waste in the countryside.

Chair of the Council’s Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: 

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful countryside, but we need to minimise the negative impact on the natural environment and on the people living in these communities, so every effort must be taken to Bag It, Bin It!  

“This campaign is aimed to raise awareness of the issue and provide useful advice to help visitors be prepared before they start their trip.”

The Highland Council welcomes visitors to the region this summer and has put in place a range of measures to help them enjoy the Highlands in a responsible and sustainable way. 

These include new Seasonal Access Rangers and Waste Services staff who will carry out patrols. 

Increased litter bin collections are now in place; road signage and parking facilities have been improved, and additional public toilets and comfort schemes, where other providers make their facilities available to visitors, are being introduced.

However, you might not always be near to a public toilet facility.

Human waste is extremely harmful to people, spreads disease in wildlife and can pollute water sources.

People in rural communities in the Highlands often rely on natural (private) water supplies, which can be contaminated by waste.

A campaign aimed at visitors will highlight the issues together with a plea – When nature calls in the outdoors…Bag It, Bin It!

Due to the sheer volume of visitors to the Highlands – all visiting and stopping at key locations or hotspots for the same outstanding scenery and natural beauty – you might think you are alone when you are ‘caught short’ in the outdoors, but you are simply one of hundreds or thousands who have been there before you that week.

The previous advice was to bury human waste in remote areas, but due to the high number of visitors in some places, it’s not safe for yourself, others or the environment – so where, possible bag it and bin it instead.

Information and advice will be issued to visitors over the summer months on how to be responsible campers. 

The advice will include:

Booking ahead – visitors will be encouraged to book campsites and to plan ahead and be considerate of others and COVID-19 restrictions.

‘Go’ before you go – a map of the Public Toilet and Comfort Scheme network will also be promoted Public Conveniences Map to help visitors who are caught short when nature calls. 

Many public toilets across the region are open 24/7.

The message will be Be prepared! – plan to take bags (dog poo bags are ideal) and a sealed container to carry the bags, which can then be disposed of safely in a bin.  

Toilet paper and sanitary products should also go in the bag.

Motorhome users – will be reminded to dispose of their grey waste and black waste responsibly at a chemical disposal point.

The Highland Council is supporting the provision of a network of waste disposal facilities and the Campervan and Motorhome Professional Association (CAMPA) website has a full list of these.

Working with partners and the hospitality industry across the region is vital in helping to raise awareness of the issue so that everyone can enjoy the great outdoors.

Hospitality, accommodation and visitor attraction owners are also encouraged to share the Bag it, Bin it! social media messages to help spread the message.

The Highland Council is also supporting the national Zero Waste Scotland Litter Campaign – “Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way” which aims to encourage the public to bin their litter or take it home.

Help us keep the Highlands beautiful and clean!

For more information on how to get involved please email recycle@highland.gov.uk

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