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Newstart - Removal Of Grant Funding For Waste Management

14th February 2019

Newstart Highland that took over Home Aid in Caithness is set to lose a £75,000 grant from 2019/20. The Highland council agreed the reduction at its budget meeting on 14th February 2019.

The main activities that the social enterprise groups currently carry out directly for Highland Council waste management are the servicing of re-use containers on our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). These currently divert around 150 tonnes from 11 HWRCs.

The organisations receive donations from the public into their shops and warehouses and also carry out free collections of furniture and other household items directly from residents' homes. The collection service has contracted due to pressures on the budget so some areas previously receiving a collection from a social enterprise group will no longer get this service. This service is essentially in competition with the Council's bulky uplift service, albeit only focused on particular quality items and specific areas. The tonnage diverted has been dropping from 2940t in 2015-16 to 2370t in 2017-18.

In Financial Year 2018/19, the Council will spend £0.15 million on these services. This proposal removes the grant paid to the organisations involved. However discussions are ongoing with Newstart to develop a new agreement on how their services can be better aligned to support the needs of the Council.

The impacts are -

Loss of re-use containers at Recycling Centres:

Potential loss of over 2000 tonnes of re-use material

Potential reduction in Household Recycling rate of over 1.5% points

Potential increase in residual waste due to restriction in service the groups can offer.

There is potential for indirect impact however this is difficult to quantify. The group provides training places and employment to disadvantaged people within the community. The group is on the framework to provide furniture and household good as and when required under the Scottish Welfare Fund and this may reduce their access to goods to recycle.

To see the full range of cuts and changes in the budget go to -https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4084/highland_council

 

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