A Clean Environment

| Care in the Community | Sustainable Communities |  A Clean Environment |
| A Planned Culture of Enterprise and Growth | A Skilled and Confident Highlands |
| Arts, Heritage, Culture and Sport | Gaelic Language | Improved Transport and Connectivity |
| Children and Young People | Corporate Objectives for The Highland Council |

A Greener, Safer and Stronger Highland

We are committed to being vigilant in protecting the environmental quality and the outstanding natural heritage of the Highlands. Our vigilance will also contribute to the Scottish Government’s objectives for a greener and safer and stronger Scotland.

Working in partnership with other public agencies, communities and voluntary organisations we will focus on dealing with pollution, climate change and waste management.

We will:

  • Oppose any proposal for new nuclear power generation in the Highlands;
  • Continue to support the above ground storage of intermediate level waste from Dounreay until a national waste strategy is agreed and implemented;
  • Object to the use of Dounreay or any other site within the Highlands for a national nuclear waste repository;
  • Support a Genetically-Modified-free Highland; and
  • Seek effective control and monitoring of the movement of hazardous cargoes in the Minches and Pentland Firth.

We are signatories to the Scottish Local Authorities Declaration on Climate Change, which commits us to a range of actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and adapt services by assessing the risks and opportunities for communities.

To ensure progress is maintained, a working group of elected members has been formed to oversee a climate change strategy for the Highlands, which will adapt Council services to cope with the impact of climate change, reduce the Council’s carbon footprint and help residents to do the same.

We are moving resources from winter maintenance to drainage and watercourse maintenance in recognition of the prevalence of flooding. Storms of January 2005 and flooding in October 2006 left the Council with a £10 million bill. And flood prevention schemes in Inverness and Fort William are being actively progressed.

Compost the CowThanks for Increasing our Recycling Rate

Recycling rates in Highland continue to improve and a huge “thank you” is extended to everyone who has put the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message into action. Last year we increased our recycling rate to just over 26% - a massive improvement on where we were only four years ago when we were recycling only 3.5% of our waste!!

The amount of waste collected also grew by over 1.6% last year so we must all strive to make recycling and composting a normal part of our daily routine and try to minimise the amount of waste that we generate in the first place.

Our kerbside collection service now extends to around 70,000 households and we have a strategically placed network of 206 recycling points for paper, cans, glass (some also have banks for textiles and shoes) and 21 Recycling Centres throughout Highland.

The Council aims to:

  • Increase the amount of waste recycled in the Highlands to 40% by 2010-11 and work towards kerbside recycling across the area.
  • Increase recycling of waste from council offices to a minimum of 15% by the end of 2009.
  • Give a high priority to community works, increasing the budget for grounds maintenance, litter picking and street cleaning by an extra £1 million.
How Do We Perform?
  • In 2006-7 we disposed of over 164,000 tonnes of municipal waste, an increase of 32.7% from 2005-6.  Of this waste 26.4% was composted or recycled with 73.6% landfilled, of which 48.6% was biodegradable.
  • The net cost of refuse disposal per premises fell to £132.31 from £139.91.
  • Around 15% reduction in energy use and carbon emissions was achieved from Council buildings from 2004-5 to 2006-7.
  • £984,000 of costs avoided in 2006-7 in the Council’s energy bill.
  • An additional 1,063kw of installed capacity of renewable energy in our Council buildings was achieved.
  • £335,000 diverted from winter maintenance to drainage and watercourse maintenance in 2006-7.