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 being asked next week to freeze the Council Tax for a seventh successive year and confirm a budget of £563.697 million for 2014-15. The Council Tax bands would remain: Band A: £775.33; Band B: £904.56; Band C: £1,033.78; Band D: £1,163.00; Band E: £1,421.44; Band F: £1,679.89; Band G: £1,938.33; Band H: £2,326.00.
Detailed proposals to realign The Highland Councilís Service management teams into 5 directorates will be presented for approval to the full council meeting on Thursday (19 December). At its last meeting on 24 October, the Council agreed to reduce the number of Services from seven to five, delivering savings of £350,000 per year.
The highland Council has received a copy of the Follow Up statutory report on Caithness Heat and Power prepared by Audit Scotland. This Follow Up statutory report is being considered by the Accounts Commission at its meeting on 12th December 2013.
The Highland Council is fully backing plans by the Scottish Government to increase fixed penalties for littering and fly-tipping but wants to see more robust action taken against contractors who try to avoid landfill costs by dumping materials indiscriminately. It agrees that the penalty for littering should rise to £80 and the penalty for fly-tipping should increase to £200, penalties which are due to take effect from 1 April, next year.
Trading Standards Officers at The Highland Council are reminding businesses to be wary of making donations to telephone cold-callers looking for contributions to seemingly good causes. Reports have come in of Highland businesses being targeted by publishing firms seeking payments for educational publications in return for the business being named as a contributor.
The Highland Councilís snow clearing / gritting route policies and area maps are online for 2013/14 at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. Road condition and gritting treatment reports by The Highland Councilís, Transport, Environmental and Community Services for Thursday 5 December 2013 are as follows: Caithness, South Sutherland and East Ross U2126 Oykel Bailley Bridge Road closed due to flooding.
The Highland Council and Police Scotland are to work together to ensure parking management is maintained in the Highlands when the traffic warden service Ė currently provided by the police - ends. Police Scotland have given notice of the completion of their phased withdrawal from the service from 3 February, next year.
Today (5 December 2013) 56 schools, 7 Service Points and council offices were closed due to lack of power, bad weather or loss of water. There were issues with the Councilís website and school closures online which are being investigated.
Currently firms are contacting businesses asking for support for an educational programme on cyber bullying. The line is that councils have cut back on their funding and they can offer help to classes in your local school if you donate to the programme.
Mr Neil Gillies, The Highland Councilís Director of Transport Environmental and Community Services, has announced his decision to retire from the Council, with effect from the end of January, next year. Mr Gillies joined the former Highland Regional Council in 1978 and worked on a wide range of civil engineering projects including roads, bridges, harbours and coast protection works, and road maintenance.
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