Preparations underway for phased re-opening of Highland Household Waste Recycling Centres
21st May 2020
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that preparations are well underway for re-opening many of the Household Waste Recycling Centres across the region to the public from Monday 1 June 2020. The sites in Highland, along with all other Scottish Local Authorities, have been closed since the end of March due to the government's Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Communities and Places Committee, said: "I know how much the Household Waste Recycling Centres are valued by the public therefore I am pleased that we are taking this next positive step along with the rest of Scotland to get them open as soon as is practicable. The re-opening of the HWRC's will require a phased approach with strict controls to ensure social distancing is adopted and that the anticipated increase in visitor numbers can be managed. The first phase will see only cars being accepted and site users will be restricted to depositing bagged household waste as well as loose garden waste.
He continued: "From Monday 1st of June, the sites are likely to look and feel very different to what people are used to and will not be operating as business as usual. In the initial phase the opening hours of all the sites will also be revised to ensure staffing levels can be maintained. Delays and queues are expected at all sites when they first re-open and I would like to take this opportunity to urge the public to visit the sites, only if it is absolutely essential and that the waste or recycling cannot be picked up by the kerbside collections or stored safely at home.
“Not all of our Household Waste Recycling Centres in the region will be ready to reopen on 1st June, as we are experiencing staff absence and we need to make changes to sites to be sure they can be operated safely and efficiently so that we do not put our staff or anyone using the centres at risk."
Further information about the re-opening of the sites will be available on the Council’s website next week along with Frequently Asked Questions. Details will also be published in the local press and via social media channels on a regular basis; householders should make sure they check the specific site opening hours and restrictions before travelling to the site.
Staff will be in place at the entrance to each site to speak with visitors and advise on waiting times and procedures on site. If a queue is too large, some vehicles may be turned away and asked to return later.
To help reduce the spread of the of Coronavirus site staff will be adopting robust hygiene standards. Householders are reminded not to visit the site if they are showing symptoms of Coronavirus. Strictly no commercial waste or recycling will be accepted.
Further information will be available by visiting: www.highland.gov.uk/recycle
The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister's announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August. Highland Council's Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising consumers to use their water wisely and check their private water supply systems for any signs of water leaks or risks of contamination. A private water supply is a property that does not have a Scottish Water mains water connection.
The Highland Council can now confirm which of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) across the region will re-open from Monday 1st June 2020. A phased approach to re-opening the sites will be adopted with strict controls in place to help manage social distancing and to ensure the anticipated high number of visitors and volume of waste can be handled safely and efficiently.
The Highland Council's Housing Service currently operates an annual garden aid scheme, cutting grass in approximately 1,300 council house gardens. The Garden Aid service is for older or disabled tenants who don't have anyone to help them cut their grass.
Following an ambitious bid by Highland Council supported by NHS Highland, to deliver rapid active travel interventions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Highland Council has been awarded £752,954 from the Scottish Government's Spaces for People fund, which is administered by Sustrans. Over the coming weeks towns across Highland and the City of Inverness will see a roll-out of temporary walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure along priority routes.
Public assurance is being provided by Highland Council that the organisation is fully transparent and accountable during the COVID-19 emergency response as it publishes decisions made by its group of senior officers - or Gold Group* - under emergency procedures. The list of decisions made since 19 March 2020 is on the Council's website at the following link and will continue to the added to and updated as further decisions are made using emergency procedures.
The COVID-19 small business and self-catering grant scheme, set up to help companies stay in business during the coronavirus crisis, has now paid out £56,286,250 million to 5135 Highland businesses. The Highland Council's Head of Development and Regeneration, Allan Maguire, said: "We now are processing applications and approving payment within days of a business submitting a complete online application form and its accompanying evidence.
Highland Council's Recovery Board Chair, Cllr Alasdair Christie has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government's road map phasing the way out of lockdown, which was published earlier today. The First Minister revealed that Phase 1 of the Government's new four phase plan, could come into effect on 28 May, however the advice remains stay home, protect the NHS and save lives for now.
The Highland Council has noted the outcomes at Inverness Sherriff Court this morning regarding Home Farm Care Home on the Isle of Skye. The Sheriff made no decision on the Care Inspectorate's application to suspend registration but has adjourned the matter until 10 June 2020 on the basis that the collaborative approach being taken will continue to be monitored.
The Highland Council would like to remind Garden Waste Collection Service permit holders that the service resumed last Monday (11th May 2020) after being suspended due to the impact of COVID-19 on staff resources. Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer for Communities and Place said: "Feedback from our crews from the first week of collections is that the quality of the material collected from the brown bins was excellent with very little contamination which is really positive and I would like to thank the public for making a concerted effort to ensure that only the correct material was put into their bins.
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