The Highland Council is in the frame to be crowned Scotland’s top local authority for community recycling, at a major awards ceremony to be held next month.
Highland Council has made it through to the final stages of the competition and will now compete against both Falkirk and Moray Council for a chance to scoop the Local Authority Partnership Award, at this year’s Community Recycling Network for Scotland (CRNS) 2008 Awards.
The Awards ceremony, which takes place at Perth Concert Hall on March 11th, will recognise the most successful and innovative community recycling projects which have taken place over the last 12 months in Scotland.
Highland Council has been shortlisted in recognition of its support for nine community recycling enterprises across the Highlands and Islands region, including projects based in Acharacle, Fort William, Uig, Bettyhill, Thurso, Golspie, Evanton, Alness and Inverness.
Through the allocation of Waste Diversion agreements, the Council works with organisations to reduce the amount of waste diverted to landfills and ensure as much waste as possible is reused and recycled.
Through this partnership, the Council will divert 4,000 tonnes of municipal waste from landfill disposal for 2007-2008, which accounts for 8% of the area’s recycling activities.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee and spokesperson for Waste Management said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the CRNS Awards as it is another way in which we can help to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and the need for community involvement.
“The community sector in Highland provides a wide variety of services, including collection of furniture and other household items for reuse from our recycling centres, community composting, wood reuse & recycling and kerbside recycling.
“The groups have benefited from over £600k of funding from the Strategic Waste Fund and a further £200k from the council’s landfill diversion budget in 2007/08. This amount of funding will be available to the groups for the forthcoming financial year.”
The council joins 10 other leading organisations and initiatives selected to compete in one of three award categories, namely CRNS Member of the Year, Innovation Award, and the Local Authority Partnership Award.
This year’s accolades have been the most hotly contested in the CRNS’ awards history, as a total of 42 high quality nominations were received from existing community recycling projects across the whole of Scotland.
CRNS Network Director, Iain Gulland, said: “The finalists for this year’s CRNS More Than Recycling Awards 08 really illustrate the diversity of the Scottish community recycling sector, as well as bearing testament to the real social, economical and environmental benefits which can be reaped by Scottish communities.
“As a growing trend in Scotland, community recycling is a sector which now has an annual turnover in excess of £26 million and employs over 1,100 people nationally, as well as offering another 950 training places and providing 3,200 volunteer opportunities.
“We hope our More Than Recycling 08 Conference will illustrate exactly how much potential community recycling has to help communities on a practical level as well as protecting the environment in general, and that this encourages more projects to emerge and more local authority support.”
The CRNS Award-winners will be announced at the More Than Recycling Conference, which will be held on the 11th March at Perth Concert Hall.
Poised to be the biggest ever gathering of people committed to realising the potential of the community recycling sector in Scotland, ‘More Than Recycling 08’ boast a strong line-up of speakers from a variety of backgrounds within the industry.
To book a place at ‘More Than Recycling 08’ visit www.crns.org.uk/index/mtr08 or call 01786 469002.
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