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Inverness businessman believes rise in Highland fly-tipping is 'inevitable'

By Ian Duncan

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Rory Haigh is complaining about new recycling regulations.
Rory Haigh is complaining about new recycling regulations.

An Inverness business leader who raised concerns about the introduction of new regulations at recycling centres is hoping to talk to council officials about better alternative rules.

Rory Haigh (48), of Fern Place, will be prevented from using his double-axle trailer to take his garden waste to a centre in Inverness when the new Highland Council rules are enforced next month.

It is one of a raft of changes which are being introduced from February 3 and since his cause was highlighted in the Courier, he has spoken with a city councillor who has promised to look into the matter further.

Mr Haigh, who is the managing director of city-based Optimum Underfloor Heating, said: “It’s only going to be a step forward if they delay the imposition of the stupid rules or change them again.

“What they are basically saying is if you’ve got a large trailer, you must be trade. They are tarring everyone with the same brush. I know they have issues with trade using the centres but that is up to them to police.

“They have got to work out a better way of policing what goes in there – number plate recognition or something.”

Mr Haigh has since written to Imogen Percy-Bell, the principal waste management officer in the council’s community services department, to request a meeting with decision-makers behind the regulations and is hopeful there could be a positive outcome for residents.

Inverness South councillor Andrew Jarvie said the issue of tradesmen still using the domestic site for commercial waste needed enforcing and has previously supported targeting certain kinds of waste.

“However, the policy we now have is a discriminatory broad brush which is complete overkill,” he added. “If someone called me saying they had been turned away at the dump with a load of grass, I have no idea where I could tell them to go. So fly-tipping from nothing more than desperation is inevitable.”

The council is introducing the new regulations in a bid to save more than £300,000 over a period of two years and a second phase, to be introduced later in the year, will place restrictions on the amount of construction and demolition waste to be taken to the centres. A council spokeswoman said: “There are environmental, legal and financial reasons for introducing the changes at our household waste recycling centres.”

She said the council had no legal duty to accept construction and demolition waste, but it had chosen to allow householders to deposit this waste which remained “a discretionary service”. She added: “This brings costs to the council that we can no longer afford.”

The vehicle restrictions have been introduced because the council felt that people with large trailers tended to have them for commercial practices.

Related article: Inverness business leader sees red over new Highland Council recycling rules

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