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New Scheme to Tackle Litter at Schools In Highland

4th December 2012

The Highland Council awarded £24,000 to trial new project to prevent littering in the Highlands.

A new project led by The Highland Council to prevent littering around 10 secondary schools in the Highlands is set to take place thanks to funding awarded by Zero Waste Scotland, the Scottish Government-backed body set up to help Scotland reduce waste, recycle more, and use resources sustainably.

Volunteers from schools, parent councils, local community groups, local businesses and Highland Council staff will be brought together to encourage pupils to use litter bins and recycling bins over the lunch time period in return for Incentives. The volunteers will hand out vouchers to pupils each time they use a litter or recycling bin.

Vouchers returned to school by the pupils will be counted and also entered into a prize draw to win £10 Amazon vouchers.

Each school will be given a target number of vouchers for the pupils to collect. If the target is reached, up to £750 will be awarded to the school to spend on eco initiatives/equipment such as water butts, wildlife areas, gardening equipment, recycling bins, playground equipment etc.

A fund of up to £500 will also be available for community groups that provide volunteers for each school. Again this can be spent on eco equipment/initiatives such as planters, community clean ups, recycling bins, benches etc.

This campaign will take place in January 2013 and will last 1 week in each school.

So far the following schools have confirmed that they would like to take part in the campaign: Alness Academy, Dingwall Academy, Inverness High School, Inverness Royal Academy, Kingussie High School, Nairn Academy, Glenurquhart High School, Millburn Academy, Portree High School and Wick High School.

If your local secondary school is taking part in the campaign and you would like your community group to get involved please email recycle[AT] or call 01349 886603 to register before Friday 14th December.

The funding comes from a £250,000 Litter Prevention Innovation Fund, launched by Zero Waste Scotland for the first time earlier this year. The fund aims to provide community groups, local authorities, businesses and landowners with the opportunity to trial new innovative ways to prevent littering - helping to keep our streets clean and capture more valuable materials for recycling.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The overwhelming response to this year’s National Spring Clean has highlighted the nation’s desire to rid our communities of litter, and this funding aims to help prevent the problem in the first place.

“Littering is not only an ugly blight on our streets, it also sees valuable materials go to waste. When collected for recycling, items like plastic bottles and drink cans can bring financial benefits to Scotland. It has been estimated that achieving a 70% recycling rate by 2025 could boost our economy by around £175million.
“By piloting new ways to prevent litter, we are empowering local communities to tackle litter problems head on. Over the last year, we have also invested around £750,000 to see more recycling units installed in busy public places in Scotland. These facilities will make it even easier to recycle when you are out and about, just as many already do at home.

“Preventing litter and recycling as much as possible ensures we make the best possible use of our resources and do what’s right for the environment.”

Councillor Graham Phillips, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TECs Committee said: “Litter is a problem which affects communities up and down the country, and we currently spend over £3.4m every year on street cleaning. Anything we can do to stop litter being dropped in the first place must be worthwhile, so we are delighted to receive this funding to help us address the root of the problem.”