New Recycling Bins Help Caithness Meet Recycling Targets
Figures released by The Highland Council to coincide with National Recycle Week show that the new refuse and recycling service introduced in Caithness in April 2011 has been a great success. This saw the introduction of a fortnightly refuse collection alternating with a fortnightly mixed recycling collection for paper, cardboard, food tins, drink cans and plastic bottles.
Wick councillor Bill Fernie said,"It is pleasing to see that Caithness people have embraced the opportunities to cut down on waste and help the council deal with this huge problem. The savings to everyone are both environmental and financial and clearly we have made good start but there is still room to improve. It was good move by the last administration to push forward with waste sorting and it is good to see the new administration taking it on as part of their planning for the future."
Since the new collections started, the amount of recyclable material collected at the kerbside in Caithness has increased by 1350 tonnes compared to the previous year. In addition, the amount of waste sent to the landfill site at Seater from refuse collections has reduced by a staggering 2770 tonnes.
Chairman od the Council's TEC Services committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: "These figures clearly show that the people of Caithness 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 roll out of the new collections to Sutherland in July will complete the introduction of the new service. 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 Caithness gets bulked up at the Seater from where it is transported to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Perth. 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) was 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.
The Highland Council is this week launching a recruitment drive for 140 extra nursery staff as it prepares to implement an increase in childcare provision from August 2014. As part of the implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, all three and four year olds in Scotland will be entitled to 600 hours per year of early learning and childcare from August.
From 28th April 2014, The Highland Council’s Recycling Centres will no longer accept waste associated with commercial or trade activities (i.e. work carried out for business or profit) such as household clearances, furniture removals and handyman or gardening services.
Sam MacNaughton, The Highland Council’s Head of Transport and Infrastructure today (Friday) retires after 44 years service in local government during which time he has secured many millions of pounds of investment in the Highlands to improve the Highland transport network. Sam, who hails from Lochaber, is married to Anne and they have three daughters, Mairi, Sarah and Chirsty.
The Highland Council’s Trading Standards Officers are warning sun-lovers bound for Turkey not to be caught out by a new visa system which requires for a visa to be applied for before travel. Britons have always been issued with a visa stamp in their passports on arrival for a £10 fee, but this will begin to come to an end from 11 April 2014, meaning visitors will have to apply online for an electronic visa (e-Visa) before travel.
Highland Councillors are united in their support for proposed new legislation aimed at cutting accidents on our roads involving young drivers. Leaders of all political groupings on the Council back the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing system for new drivers in Scotland, which would restrict their permissions in driving unsupervised until they have gained adequate experience.
The Highland Council has warmly welcomed publication of a report by The Care Inspectorate of their recent inspection of children’s services in the Highlands. This inspection, which took place in October and November 2013, covered the range of services in the Council area that provide services to children, young people and families, including education, health, social work, police and the voluntary sector.
The Highland Council today (Tuesday 1st April 2014) welcomes the commencement of the High Hedges (Scotland) Act, which brings into being new powers to resolve high hedge disputes between neighbours. Subject to certain criteria, people across Highland are now able to apply to the Council for a 'High Hedge Notice' where a hedge on neighbouring property is having an adverse impact on the enjoyment of their home or garden as a result of loss of light.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry has praised the “stunning” success of the Council’s Homeless Prevention team in achieving a 53% reduction in homeless presentations and a 33% reduction in the use of temporary accommodation since their creation in June 2011. Speaking at the Highland Homelessness conference in Nairn today (Wednesday) Councillor Hendry revealed that the team has worked with 4,269 households, recording a 65% "success" rate in terms of homeless presentations prevented.
A new leadership group has been set up to drive forward a Highland Science Academy that will be a catalyst for bringing new jobs and ground-breaking educational and IT advances to the region. The move brings together The Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands and Islands in a landmark partnership that will deliver a new and innovative programme of work-based learning, ranging from pre-school to higher education.
The Highland Council has reviewed its Community Challenge Fund one year after its introduction and agreed measures to encourage and support more community groups to bid into the £1 million fund. Three community groups have applied successfully for funding.
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