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16/08/2019

Highland Council To Tackle Construction Waste At Recycling Centres

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The Highland Council has announced new measures to restrict the amount of construction and demolition waste brought to its network of 21 Household Waste Recycling Centres.

To coincide with these changes that come into force on 1 November this year, the Council's Bulky Uplift service will be expanded to include small amounts of DIY material.

The Highland Council manages 22% more waste per person than the Scottish average which equates to an additional 24,000 tonnes of waste a year, costing up to £2.4m in handling and treatment costs.

Much of the additional waste at Recycling Centres is construction and demolition waste such as rubble, plasterboard, timber, old kitchen units and bathroom suites. The council has no statutory duty to accept this kind of waste but has previously allowed householders to deposit wastes of this type.

At today's Environmental, Development and Infrastructure Committee members gave their approval to the implementation of the changes that will limit quantities of construction and demolition waste accepted at Highland recycling centres to small amounts generated through minor DIY activities only.

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The changes are expected to save the Council £300,000 over two years.

Under the changes trailers over 2.4 metres, vans over 3.5 tonnes, tippers and trucks will not be permitted to any Highland Council recycling centre with any waste. Householders will be allowed to bring small quantities of construction and demolition waste but this will be restricted to what can be transported in the boot of a car and householders will be limited to one visit one visit per day with this material. These restrictions will not apply to normal household waste such as furniture, white goods and garden waste.

The Council's Bulky Uplift Service is a chargeable collection available to householders only. Under the new arrangements a number of items previously excluded will be permitted. They include bathroom suites and sanitary ware, bicycles, car wheels and tyres, doors, kitchen units, lawnmowers and garden tools and window frames. The charge for this service is £22.69 for 1 – 3 items and £45.37 for 4 – 6 items.

Chair of the Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: "These new measures will help to ensure that the commercial and trade waste producers are not taking advantage of the services we offer members of the public at our network of recycling centres. Householders undertaking small-scale home improvements will still be able to take small quantities of waste materials to our Recycling Centres but we are asking everyone to step up and take more responsibility for their own waste. It is not a statutory function for the council to undertake and we are not in a position to subsidise the cost, especially when it comes to construction and demolition waste.

"If anyone is using a commercial company or a tradesman to carry out DIY jobs for them, they need to make sure that arrangements are in place for materials to be disposed of correctly."

The new arrangements will be implemented from November 1st 2019.

(MH/JG)

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