The Highland Council is considering a move to a three-weekly collection service for its refuse in an attempt to boost recycling in the area and cut services to match its reduced budget.
The council is asking its residents for views on which services should be cut in order for the council to save money. One option being considered is a move to a three-weekly collection service, moving away from its current fortnightly service.
The local authority says it must save £63m from its annual £563m budget between 2015 and 2019, whilst at the same time strive to meet Scottish Government recycling targets.
Dr Colin Clark – “People in Highland are really quite good at recycling but we estimate that we only get about 65 percent of all the materials that they have. The rest is going in the green bin. There is a big waste element there”
The consultation process ends in November, when a decision will be made.
Dr Colin Clark, the local authority’s head of environmental services, said: “People in Highland are really quite good at recycling but we estimate that we only get about 65 percent of all the materials that they have. The rest is going in the green bin. There is a big waste element there.
“We are losing 35 to 40 percent of all recyclable waste because it is going into the green [general refuse] rubbish bin.”
Three-Weekly Collection Trend
Bury Council recently moved from a fortnightly to a three-weekly collection of black bag waste and earlier this month Somerset Council announced it was to trial three-weekly collections.
In April this year Gwynedd County Council became the first in Wales to approve a three-weekly collection for its “black bag” waste.
A recent study by Zero Waste Scotland concluded that less frequent collections of “black bag” waste posed no “greater health risk” to the public.
In a recent CIWM Journal Online poll, we asked visitors if the move to three-weekly collections is likely to be mimicked throughout the nation.
Thirty one percent of respondents answered: “While it may reduce waste to landfill, I can’t see it being a widely adopted scheme (31%)”.
Twenty four percent were of the opinion that it would be widely adopted, responding: “Yes, it’s obvious this will reduce waste to landfill and increase recycling. It is the future of collections (24%)”.
Another twenty four percent were of the opinion: “It’s too early to know whether a scheme like this will work or whether other authorities will adopt it (24%)”
And twenty one percent believed such a move was only likely to cause backlash with residents, responding: “No, this will only cause backlash with residents and will do nothing for waste and recycling (21%)”.