Questions over recycling revenues

Household re-use and recycling
Household re-use and recycling

A local councillor has questioned why the local authority is still paying a private company profits from.

Mid Galloway Councillor Graham Nicol said he was mystified why the money was handed over to Project Co, part of Shanks Dumfries and Galloway Ltd, instead of being retained by the council, which took over the running of the Newton Stewart Recycling Centre in September 2016.

The councillor said: “Why does the money still goes to Shanks?

“The council has labour charges and maintenance charges to meet.

“I am full of praise for the facility and the way it is run. The staff do a wonderful job. The place is immaculate - clean and tidy.

“But serious questions have to be asked of senior council officers as to why the revenues from this are paid to the Project Co (Shanks) instead of being retained by the council in these hard times?”

Dumfries and Galloway Council took over the household waste recycling centre at Barnkirk on September 3 from Shanks Waste Management after Shanks wrote to the local authority to give notice it was terminating the agreement with the council to run the Barnkirk facility.

A report from council officers to elected members at last week’s Wigtown Area Committee stated: “Dumfries and Galloway Council is responsible for transport, handling and finding outlets for the waste streams with the exception of the materials known as ‘mixed waste (bulky waste)’ and ‘mixed waste (small waste).

“It is the council’s responsibility to transport these two waste streams to the Galdenoch site (near Stranraer) at which point Project Co are the party responsible for their treatment/disposal.

“For the remaining waste streams, the council ensures that the materials are not mixed with any other source, prior to then being weighed and the council is responsible for obtaining outlets for these materials.

“The council pays the Project Co all revenues, net of haulage costs, received from the waste brought to Newton Stewart HWRC.”

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “The contract agreed by councillors means recycling income offsets the costs charged to the council for the treatment and disposal of waste by the Project Company.

“At Newton Stewart the income stream from ‘recyclate’ is a small element of the whole commercial agreement.”

The opening times of the Newton Stewart HWRC are Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 6pm and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The household waste streams collected at the centre are the same as those collected prior to the council taking over in September 2016:

Cardboard and books; paper; glass bottles and jars; electrical appliances; televisions and monitors; fridges and freezers; household batteries; fluorescent tubes and low energy light bulbs; green waste; soil and rubble; wood; textiles, clothing and shoes; metal cans, tins and clean aluminium foil and scrap metal.