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New restrictions on vehicles at Highland waste recycling centres

By Louise Glen

Highland Council has issued a reminder about new rules on which types of vehicles will be allowed to access recycling centres from next week.

From February 3 trailers with more than one axle or greater than 2.4 metres (8 feet) in length; vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes or greater; and tippers and flat-bed trucks of any weight and plant vehicles, will not be permitted entry to household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) with any waste.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of the council's communities and place committee said: “In Highland we manage 22 per cent more waste per person than the Scottish average and HWRC have experienced a 50 per cent increase in waste in the last decade, costing up to £2.4 million in handling and treatment costs, which brings costs the council can no longer afford."

He continued: “As reported by Audit Scotland, between 2013/14 and 2018/19 Highland Council’s core revenue funding reduced by 9.8 per cent.To cope with a reducing budget and increasing costs, the environment, development and infrastructure committee agreed in 2019 to the restrictions at HWRC which are anticipated to achieve approximately £300,000 of savings over the next two years.

“The new restrictions are necessary in helping the council provide efficient and cost-effective services that contribute towards environmental sustainability and the development of a more circular economy.

“Larger trailers and commercial type vehicles have been included in the restrictions due to the large volume of material that they can carry and the congestion they can create at the sites. In addition, these vehicles are often associated with trade abuse of council facilities. Restricting access will help to reduce the overall amount of material that is handled at HWRC."

He added: “We understand there are concerns that the changes will result in increased fly-tipping, however this is an issue across the UK and tends to arise from rogue traders rather than law-abiding citizens.We currently have systems in place to capture instances of fly-tipping and will continue to monitor this and take enforcement action when necessary.”

The council suggested alternative methods for managing household waste include using Highland Council’s chargeable Bulky Uplift Service.

To coincide with the changes at HWRC, the range of items available for collection has now been expanded to include bathroom and sanitary ware; kitchen cabinets; car tyres and/or rims; bicycles; window frames and doors without glass, gates, lawnmowers and garden tools.

The charge for this service is £22.69 for up to three items items and £45.37 for up to six items.

In Caithness, Sutherland, Wester Ross, Skye and Badenoch and Strathspey, the council operates transfer stations and/or landfill sites where householders and businesses can pay to deliver waste directly. In addition, in Sutherland and Skye, the council operates a chargeable skip hire service for householders and businesses. In Inverness, Easter Ross and Lochaber there are private waste disposal companies which offer skip hire or waste disposal facilities for which a charge will apply.

For more information and FAQs, visit: www/highland.gov.uk/recycle; e-mail recycle@highland.gov.uk or phone 01349 886603.

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