Figures released by The Highland Council to coincide with National Recycle Week show that the new refuse and recycling service introduced across The Highland Council area over the past year and a half has been a great success. This has seen the introduction of a fortnightly refuse collection alternating with a fortnightly mixed recycling collection for paper, cardboard, food tins, drink cans and plastic bottles.
Figures for Inverness are not yet available as the new service was only introduced here in April; however, the total amount of recyclable material collected at the kerbside in those areas where the new collections were introduced earlier, increased by a combined total of nearly 4300 tonnes compared to the previous year. In addition, the amount of waste sent to landfill from refuse collections has reduced by a staggering 9566 tonnes. The new collection programme will conclude with a roll out to Sutherland in July.
Chairman of the council’s TEC Services committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “These figures clearly show that the Highland people have fully embraced the changes and taken on board the greater recycling ethos in today’s society. I would like to thank householders for their commitment to helping the Council work towards the Zero Waste Targets.”
The latest figures show that the Highland recycling rate has increased from 34% to 39% and that last year the amount of recyclable material collected throughout the region increased by 5500 tonnes to 58,379 with waste down from 102,000 to 90,000 tonnes.
The council’s commercial waste customers are also now obliged to recycle as a condition of their contract. Many businesses have welcomed the introduction of the recycling service and have been able to make significant savings in their waste bills.
The material collected in the blue recycling bins in The Highland Council area gets bulked up at a number of transfer stations across the region. From these it is transported to one of three Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) in Evanton, Perth or Grangemouth. Here the materials are separated, baled and sent on for re-processing. Plastic bottles, for example, and depending on the type of plastic, can be used to make items such as garden furniture and clothing, including fleeces, as well as re-moulded into new bottles.
One of the focuses of this year’s Recycle Week (18th – 24th June) is on increasing plastic bottle recycling. Any type 1 or 2 plastic bottle can be recycled, including many toiletry and cleaning product bottles – not just milk and drink bottles. Bottles should be rinsed and if possible, caps removed.
Last year 788 tonnes of plastic bottles were successfully recycled in Highland, which works out to about 178 plastic bottles from each household; however, it is estimated that every household uses 500 plastic bottles each year so don’t forget to recycle all yours using your blue recycling bin.
For more information on recycling or waste minimisation please visit: www.highland.gov.uk, email email@example.com or call 01349 886603.