Recycling puzzle for rural areas

Dumfries and Galloway Council officials are still scratching their heads over how to put in operation the new multi-bin waste collection system in a rural area like the south Machars.

The new system has been forced on the council by the Scottish Government in a bid to meet European Union targets on recycling,

Officials attended community council meetings last week in Port William and Whithorn to explain what was involved and answer any concerns.

However, they had to admit that they did not yet have the answers to questions such as how to deal with farm or estate roadends where it would be inadvisable to replace the present one super bin with five bins for each household.

Residents in both communities were also worried that, on a windy day, the bins might blow away once they had been emptied, or even hit cars or pedestrians leading to insurance claims.

Businesses will go onto the new system in January and households in April. The food waste will be collected weekly, the glass bottle bin and the plastic bottle bin will be collected fortnightly as will an ‘overflow bin’ for either glass or plastic bottles, but not both. Anything that does not fit into these categories, “residual waste”, will go in to the old wheelie bin which will be emptied fortnightly.

Bin lorry staff will then be responsible for sorting the waste out by the side of the road and loading waste from each bin into the appropriate compartment on the lorry.

Regarding the cost of bringing in the multi-bins, Alistair Speedie, Director of Planning and Environmental Services told the meeting in Whithorn that diverting waste away from landfill would save the council “hundreds of thousands” in landfill tax.

Mid Galloway Councillor Alistair Geddes said he had taken legal advice about challenging the Scottish government in court about changing the way D&G collected waste as, in his opinion, the Eco-Deco plant in operation at Dumfries to sort the majority of the regions’ waste was a first class system.

He said: “We don’t accept this supinely. This deal impacts adversely on the people of Dumfries and Galloway who were forced down this route.”

Whithorn community Council Chairman John Wilson agreed that the council had been forced into this position.

Mr Speedie confirmed that residents who did not want to follow the new recycling mantra and continued to put everything in one bin “won’t be penalised” but he hoped to persuade members of the public to recycle.