New Recycling Bins Help Caithness Meet Recycling Targets
5th July 2012
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 renewing its call upon the UK Government to reinstate adequate coastal protection measures for the Highlands and Islands. Leader of the Council, Drew Hendry raised the matter at the Convention of the Highlands and Islands earlier this week, and asked for the support of the full council, strategic partners and the Island Councils, in asking the UK Government to reinstate an Emergency Towing Vessel in the Minches without further delay and to commit to extending the lease for the Emergency Towing Vessel based in Kirkwall.
A major public consultation has now started to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Main Issues Report which has now been published is the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.
Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions and generate £35k per year. The Highland Council has agreed further investment in LED street lighting programme to cut carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption and generate savings of £35k per year.
The Highland Council has launched a consultation paper with detailed proposals for saving over £15 million towards a total budget cut of £64 million over the next five years. The Council has already achieved over £77.7m of cuts, including some through efficiency savings over the past 5 years.
Highland and Islands Councils have signed a multi-million pound contract on behalf of the Pathfinder North Partnership, led by The Highland Council, for the provision of Network Services starting in March 2016. The deal is part of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) Framework agreement awarded to CAPITA in February 2014 and has a potential value of around £33m (over 7 years) across the five Partners for whom it is expected to generate significant cost savings.
Housing projects helping to support local construction sector and wider economy. Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced a deal to deliver new affordable homes for rent in Inverness, providing a boost to the local construction sector and wider economy.
The Highlands and Islands Convention was welcomed to the Merkinch Community Centre in Inverness today (Monday) by Councillor Drew Hendry, Leader of the Highland Council, who stressed the importance of ensuring a highly skilled workforce that would contribute to the continuing economic growth of the Highlands and Islands. He also highlighted the need for partners to be working together to deliver good quality services to local communities and to sustain and enable those communities in the Highlands and Islands to flourish.
The Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers are backing local Citizens Advice Bureaux in their campaign to ensure that Highland consumers get a fair deal over private car parking. Both agencies have seen an increase in consumer complaints about private parking in recent times, with a range of problems being encountered by motorists, as David MacKenzie, Team Leader at Highland Council Trading Standards explained: "Sometimes the problem is poor signage resulting in drivers being unaware of large penalty charges and the scale of such charges can also be controversial.
The Caithness District Partnership next meets in Wick on Friday 31 October 2014 and the agenda will feature an update on the progress made in the implementation of a Family Team for Caithness. The meeting will also feature updates from Bob Silverwood, the NHS Area for Caithness and Sutherland the Manager.of Scottish Ambulance Service will also deliver a presentation on Public Access Defibrillators.
The Leadership of Highland Council has turned up the heat on OFGEM and called for action against unfair surcharges which make electricity costs higher for consumers in the Highlands and Islands. The Highland Council Administration is responding in support of action being taken by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and will be writing to OFGEM to call for fairer energy charges in the Highlands and Islands.
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