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Waste management review

17th November 2012

A review is to be made of The Highland Councilís waste management strategy to ensure the Council meets its new statutory requirements under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012.

The new regulations and the Zero Waste Policy require the Council to. -

provide a dry recycling service to households and business (if requested to do so);
provide a separate food waste collection service to households and business (if requested to do so) in Inverness;
ensure that residual waste is treated as a minimum to remove metals and rigid plastics;
ensure that biodegradable waste is not landfilled beyond 1 January 2021
The Councilís efforts will contribute to the overall Scottish targets:

2013 - 50% household waste recycling
2020 - 60% household waste recycling
2025 - 70% all waste recycling
2025 - not more than 5% of all waste to landfill
The Programme for the Highland Council sets a target of 57% recycling for household waste by 2017.

Although there are issues which need further exploration (in particular food waste and glass) the Council has already met some of its requirements in that all in Highland now have a recycling service including household and business collections and a network of more than 200 recycling points.

The 2011/12 household recycling rate for Highland was 46% and equivalent municipal waste recycling rate was 40%. The recycling rate a decade before -(2002/3) - was 3%.

Councillor Graham Phillips, Chairman of the TEC Services Committee, said: ďChanges coming down the line will have a dramatic effect on what we do. By 2025 it will be pretty much Ďnil by landfillí, and a completely new way of handling the waste we canít recycle. There are options for how we deal with that, but all mean major capital investment.

ďGiven the lead time for projects like this, 2025 actually isnít that far off. The need for new collection/recycling services means looking at logistics from bin to bulking centre. We have to get much better at recycling glass and, while we do have community recycling centres, coverage isnít consistent across the Highlands. All this means a root and branch review of what we do, and we are getting a move on with it.Ē