The largest phase of The Highland Council’s introduction of new refuse and recycling collections is on target to take place on 2nd April. From this date residents in urban areas of Inverness, which presently have blue boxes for paper and tin cans, and those in the remaining parts of Wester Ross without a kerbside recycling service, will receive a recycling collection from blue wheelie bins.
The new bins will take paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food tins and drink cans. These will be collected fortnightly, alternating with a fortnightly refuse collection on the same day of the week – blue recycling bin one week, green/black refuse bin the following. The fortnightly brown bin garden waste collection service presently operating in the Inverness area is unaffected.
In the rural areas, which presently have a four-weekly collection from the mixed blue recycling bins, the recycling collections will also become fortnightly – again alternating with a fortnightly refuse collection.
Stickers notifying residents of the changes will shortly be put out. Residents in the Wester Ross areas and urban Inverness will have their new blue wheelie bins delivered during February and March. These will be accompanied by new calendars and guides explaining the new service. Residents in the Inverness areas which already have blue bins will also be delivered new calendars and guides during the same period.
The new collections are also being rolled out to all The Highland Council’s commercial customers – though the frequency of collections offered will vary according to locality. All customers must recycle, either using the collection service or the free permit issued with their contract at Recycling Points/Centres. Full details will shortly be sent out and the Waste Management Team will be individually contacting all commercial customers to discuss their service requirements.
The new collection service has already been successfully introduced to Skye and Lochalsh, Lochaber, Caithness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey and, most recently, Ross and Cromarty and the Lochcarron area of Wester Ross.
Chairman of The Highland Council’s TECS Committee, Councillor John Laing, said that the new collections were an important part of the Council’s drive to meet The Scottish Government target of 70% of all waste to be recycled by 2025. “Introducing the new collections to the Inverness area will provide the Council with the biggest challenge to date.” he said, “However, I am confident that success of the operation in other parts of the Highlands will be repeated here.” He added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole population of The Highland Council area for their co-operation and the commitment they have shown to increasing recycling.”
Alternate Weekly Collections are now common in Scotland and have already been adopted by 21 out of 32 Councils.
Concerns about smells from rotting organic matter can be allayed by sensible bin management and ensuring that such material is double bagged separately from the ‘clean’, ‘non- smelly’ non-recyclable waste rather than throwing everything in the bin together.
Householders are also encouraged to try to minimise the amount of organic matter placed in the residual waste bin by reducing food waste – households in Scotland throw away an average of £430 worth of food every year (visit www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk) – and by composting items such as raw fruit and vegetables, flowers and garden waste. Advice on home composting and other ways of reducing waste and increasing recycling is available by visiting www.zerowastescotland.org.uk