Waste collection system is ‘mostly back on track’
AFTER ongoing concerns from the community about the waste uplift schedule for green and blue bins, The Oban
Times asked Argyll and Bute Council to confirm its position. The following is its response.
‘Argyll and Bute Council has introduced a new refuse and recycling service across the area – keeping recycling services as they are and moving to a three-weekly schedule for general waste (green) bins.
‘Like all councils, we have to change the way we do things because of drastically reduced funding, with £10 million of savings this year alone.
‘At the same time, we have to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill because we pay over £ 80 in tax for every tonne.
‘Argyll and Bute Council is totally committed to recycling, which is why we have protected that part of the service. Recycling arrangements will be staying the same as they are now.
‘By taking advantage of the recycling options available, people can save space in their green bin, save money for council services and save money for themselves. By throwing away less food, people could save hundreds of pounds each year – money which is better in their pocket than in the bin.
‘The more we can work together to recycle, the more money we can save.
‘ We can then protect the services people have told us are important to them, such as investing in regeneration projects, educating our young people, improving our roads network and supporting vulnerable people.
‘We’d like to apologise to anyone who experienced problems with their bin collection service over the festive period. We are happy to say things are mostly back on track.
‘The new refuse and recycling service is being delivered to 47,000 households spread across 1,430 miles.
‘We would like to thank you for your patience and for working with us to increase recycling in Argyll and Bute – helping to save money for services.
‘This is an extremely busy time of year and the three-weekly collection service is still in the early stages. As a result, bins in some areas were unfortunately missed. We worked hard to resolve this and are happy to say things are now back on track, as per the calendars.
‘Some of the key points about the new service are:
‘ ❒ Additional recycling bins will be available free of charge;
‘ ❒ Routes are matched to the capacity of individual bin lorries;
‘ ❒ And the civic amenity sites have the capacity to accommodate the new service model.
‘Arrangements can be made for certain households to have a second green bin – where there are five or more people, where someone has a medical condition that generates waste or where families have children using nappies and all other
recycling options have been considered
‘Environmental wardens are available to advise on what can be recycled and how householders can recycle more
‘ Waste and recyclable material can be taken to any of the council’s civic amenity sites.’
In the meantime, public anger over the three-weekly scheme shows little sign of abating, with readers of The Oban Times continuing to comment negatively and sending in pictures of overflowing bins and torn refuse sacks. On The Oban Times Facebook page there were numerous comments added within the last week.
John DM Kerr wrote: ‘A reduction in service should mean a reduction in council tax otherwise it’s theft.’
Daniel Coleman agreed: ‘ They have the nerve to put up council tax for the hardworking taxpayer. Yet cut all services that we pay it for.’
However, a minority defended the council. Frances Thom posted: ‘What’s the problem? Other councils offer bins for paper/plastic, garden waste, glass, general waste and good scraps. Makes sense to me!’ And Colin Cooper said: ‘REDUCE wasteful packaging. REUSE and up cycle. RECYCLE if you can’t follow the previous steps.
Further information also at www. argyll-bute/gov.uk/ bins. To request additional recycling bins, contact an environmental warden, or to request a second general waste bin, call 01546 605514. ❚ Opinion: Martin Laing – page four. ❚ Letters – page eight.
Readers have been sending in pictures of overflowing bins and ripped open refuse sacks from across Argyll and Bute, including these photographs from Stephen Mearns in Inverarary.