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Recycling centres across the Highlands expand range of accepted materials from next week

By Hector MacKenzie

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Recycling and waste centres will accept more items next week – but some important restrictions remain.
Recycling and waste centres will accept more items next week – but some important restrictions remain.

HIGHLAND Council is expanding the range of material that will be accepted at recycling sites as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease.

From Monday of next week, non-commercial vans and trailers will be permitted, with an on-line booking system in place for larger sites.

Non-bagged household waste and larger bulky household items such as sofas, mattresses, garden tools and rolls of carpet will be accepted from Monday.

However waste including rubble, plasterboard, kitchen units, bathroom suites, doors and other similar waste from DIY activities will continue to be excluded from sites at the present time.

Householders are asked to check Highland Council’s websitewww.highland.gov.uk/recyclingcentres for items accepted and to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions before travelling to a recycling centre.

The re-introduction of vans under 3.5 tonnes and trailers to dispose of permitted household waste is part of stage 3 of the recovery plan for the facilities enabling access to all householders where capacity of the containers allows.

An online booking system for vans and/or trailers will be introduced for the following sites: Alness, Dingwall, Tain, Fort William, Inverness, Nairn, Portree, Thurso and Wick.

The booking system will help to manage the flow of traffic for all site users.

Online bookings are now open and van and/or trailer owners can book a slot.

Householders with cars and small non-commercial 4 x 4 vehicles, do not need to book to use the sites.

Booking a slot "will be quick and easy", the council says.

Residents will need to enter their name, address, vehicle type, registration number and waste being deposited into the online form at least 48 hours in advance of visiting the site.

Once the online booking is complete a confirmation text or email will be sent to residents which must be shown to the Site Attendant upon arrival.

Booking a slot does NOT give priority access – householders with a booking will need to join a queue at busy times in order to gain access.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of Highland Council’s Communities and Places Committee said: “I am pleased to announce we are progressing to the next stage of re-opening the HWRC with the re-introduction of new materials and small vans and trailers.This will mean that all householders now have access to the sites with permitted vehicles which is a significant step forward in our recovery plan for the facilities.”

He continued: “An online booking system has been successfully piloted in Portree HWRC since June and we can now roll this out to our larger sites to help with the flow of traffic thereby reducing queuing for other site users.

“In order to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, it is important that we continue to ensure that social distancing measures are maintained on the sites, therefore it will be necessary to operate with some restrictions in order to manage the number of visitors on the sites. I would like to thank the public for their understanding and co-operation when using the facilities - by working together we can keep these sites safe for residents and protect our staff.”

Light bulbs (including energy efficient bulbs and fluorescent tubes) and household batteries will also be added to the list of items accepted at the sites.

The Highland Council’s bulky uplift collection service is also operating and collects unwanted household items such as furniture, electrical appliances, bathroom suites and sanitary ware, kitchen units and sinks. The cost for the service is £23.37 for up to 3 items or £46.73 for up to 6 items. Householders can book the service online by visiting www.highland.gov.uk/bulkyuplift

To help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, site staff will be adopting "robust hygiene standards".

Householders should wash their hands before and after visiting a recycling centre. People should also observe social distancing and stay two metres apart from staff and other site users.

Householders are reminded not to visit the site if they are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Strictly no commercial waste will be accepted.

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