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.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.
In recognition that roads are a high priority for communities in Highland the Administration at The Highland Council will be putting forward a budget on Thursday (15 February) that protects the budget for local roads. Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: "We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services.
The Highland Council is asking stakeholders and members of the public for feedback on new draft guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts. Not only does the draft Shopfront Design Guide: Planning Guidance provide advice to help promote good quality applications but it encourages developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals.
The Highland Council Budget team have agreed their final budget proposals which will go to Council for agreement on 15 February 2018. Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "We have done everything we can to protect frontline services and jobs in a good budget.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Caol and Mallaig ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Monday 5 February) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11. The other Ward members are Councillors Allan Henderson (Independent) and Ben Thompson (Independent) The Notice of Election and Nomination Form will be published on the Council's website www.highland.gov.uk (external link) on Tuesday 13 February.
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