Public get pat on back for recycling increase

THE Highland public is being congratulated for helping Highland Council achieve for the first time a recycling rate of more than 40 per cent.
At the same time, the public is reducing the amount of waste it discards and is providing the highest standard of materials for recycling.
The recycling rate from April – June was recorded at 41%. This was repeated between July – September.
The rate may decrease outwith the summer period when there is less green materials to be recycled/composted.
However, breaking the 40% barrier is seen as a huge achievement and a significant milestone.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of the Council’s Transport Environmental and Community Services, said: “The public deserves a huge thank you for responding so readily and effectively to our recycling messages to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Not only is the amount of waste sent to landfill down by more than 11% but the amount being recycled has increased by over 3%. So we have a win:win situation.
Mr Laing added: “On top of this the quality of the materials being recycled is of the very highest quality and highly marketable. So the public deserve our sincerest thanks and the message is “keep up the great work” and help us sustain the improved performance.”
The Scottish Government has set a target of 70% of all waste to be recycled by 2025. Comparing the Council’s figures for the 6 months from April to September this year with the same period last year there has been a reduction in landfilled waste of 11.6%; an increase of over 3% in the amount of material sent for recycling and a 5% increase in the amount of glass collected at the recycling points. Some of the difference between the landfilled figures can be attributed to a reduction in the total waste households and businesses are producing due to the recession but also to waste prevention measures including home composting of kitchen and garden waste.
Meanwhile, it is now four weeks since new refuse and recycling collections were introduced to Ross-shire and some parts of Wester Ross. The changes saw the introduction of a fortnightly recycling collection for paper, cardboard, food tins, drink cans and plastic bottles, alternating with a fortnightly refuse collection.
Ross-shire is the fifth area in the Highlands to ‘go alternate’ and, as with the earlier roll-outs to Skye and Lochalsh, Caithness, Lochaber and Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, there have been very few problems with excess waste or contamination of recycling bins.
Households previously with blue boxes for tin cans and paper can now recycle a wider range of materials using their new blue bins whilst those who already had blue recycling bins have benefited from more frequent collections of these. Households in parts of Wester Ross, including the Lochcarron and Achiltibuie areas, are receiving kerbside recycling collections for the first time.
As part of the new service Highland Council’s commercial customers are also being offered recycling collections for the first time and are required to recycle as a condition of their contract. They will no longer be permitted to put cardboard, paper, tin cans and plastic bottles in their refuse bins. They can choose to either have recycling bins as part of their contract or take the material themselves to a Recycling Point or, in the case of cardboard and plastic bottles, a Recycling Centre using the free recycling permit issued with their contract.
Businesses are also encouraged, along with householders, to recycle glass bottles and jars at Recycling Points and Recycling Centres. Presently only about half of glass bottles and jars are being recycled.
The Ross-shire changes are the latest phase in an 18 month programme which will see the new collections introduced throughout The Highland Council area by next summer. The changes will be introduced to the rest of Wester Ross and the Inverness area in April 2012.
Highland Council’s Waste Awareness Team can offer advice on reducing waste and increasing recycling to both householders and its businesses customers and can be contacted on 01349 886603 or by emailing