Anger over recycling plan

EVERY household in Galloway is to receive five recycling boxes in radical but unpopular plans to improve waste management.

The announcement came fol­lowing a meeting of councillors on Wednesday after it emerged that the region is one of only two with households still using a single bin.

The building of the multi-million-pound Eco Deco plant near Dumfries five years ago – the only such plant in Scotland – meant all waste was separated under legislation at the time to divert from landfill.

But now new rules imposed by an EU directive mean the Scottish government must boost recycling figures under its zero waste policy, and Dumfries and Galloway has been left with no option but to impose kerbside collections. The waste currently produced from the Eco Deco is sold on for energy production, but this is not categorised as recyclable, meaning the figures don’t stack up.

So now five bin boxes will be dished out to each household on top of their current wheelie bin, starting with Wigtownshire and the Stewartry in 2014, and the rest of the region joining in the following year.

The boxes will consist of a 55-litre box for glass, plastic bottles and metals; a 44-litre box for paper and card; a 44-litre box for either of these; a 23-litre outdoor caddy for food waste and a five-litre indoor caddy for food waste. The bins will be collected on alternate weeks.

Large items of card­board and textiles can be placed for 
collection in plastic bags, along­side relevant boxes.

Some recycling points across the region will close, but the main household waste sites, including the newly-planned ones for Stranraer and Newton Stewart, will remain open.

Director of Planning and Environmental Services Alis­tair Speedie said: “There will 
be a complete support exer­cise that helps the public under­stand what is expected of them.”

But Mid Galloway Councillor Graham Nicol said the coun­cil’s hands were tied. “This unfortunate situation has arisen through SEPA’s reading of an EU directive to do with waste. Other countries have interpreted the legislation dif­ferently, and Scotland – in 
particular Dumfries and Gal­loway – is being forced into this situation because of this interpretation.

“We have always been very proud of our Eco Deco plant and our one-bin weeky uplift. Unfortunately, it would appear this is going to have to change and when I had a recent dis­cus­sion with the minister res­ponsible, Richard Lochhead, you could see the shutters coming down and he was not willing to discuss it. After long negotiations between the council and the government, the best we could come up with is a delay in bringing in the legislation for kerbside recycling which covers the whole of Scotland, not just Dumfries and Galloway.”

Online reactions show anger with users of The Galloway Gazette’s Facebook page saying they don’t have time or space to house the bins, have no faith in the council’s ability to implement the scheme and that money spent on the Eco Deco seems to have been wasted.

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