Soroba bins cannot meet demand, says council boss
A COUNCIL executive admitted that, per head of population, Soroba did not have the recycling bins it needed because there ‘simply isn’t space’.
Bins boss Jim Smith told a meeting of residents, community councillors and Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) that Soroba had more bins for general waste than anywhere else in Argyll and Bute.
While Mr Smith, the roads and amenity services head officer, seemed reluctant to increase the number of bins uplifts in the Soroba area, he did concede to replacing extra grey bins for general waste as soon as possible. He also agreed to consider extra uplifts if the bin areas were overflowing.
Mr Smith explained the current recycling scheme by the local authority was to improve the record of the council. It, along with the other authorities in Scotland, has been given a target by the Scottish Government (under the Kyoto Agreement) to have zero waste by 2021.
While councillors, housing staff and residents felt this was an ambitious plan, the cost of any tonnage going to landfill was pointed out.
Mr Smith said: ‘ Our overall waste in the Campbeltown area has gone down by 80 per cent since we introduced the three-weekly bin collections.’
Mr Smith indicated that in Soroba there had been an in- crease in the tonnage of rubbish being taken out of the scheme. Mr Smith continued: ‘We need to keep working with people in Soroba to increase recycling. We realise there are some problems in Soroba but it is going to be solved over a period of time. We need to work with everyone to make sure it [recycling] happens.’
A plan to increase recycling was brought forward by ACHA chief executive Alastair MacGregor.
Mr MacGregor said: ‘I will be recommending to our local area committee on March 6 that we invest in bringing back into use redundant storage areas to assist in recycling.
‘This will involve a financial commitment from ACHA of £4,000 which we believe will assist our tenants and other residents in recycling initiatives by providing additional storage areas.
‘If the go-ahead is given, I believe the additional facilities will be available towards the end of April.
‘In the round of things, I believe this will also help in ensuring that there is adequate capacity to deal with waste management in the area.
‘ACHA also welcomes the council’s commitment to look at putting in a bottle bank facility.’
Stalwart Soroba campaigner Andy Harper, who attended the meeting, said: ‘This has been going on for years. Many people say we are the most densely populated area in Europe, and yet while we have gone to three-weekly collection and we are told that the whole of Oban and Lorn are now three-weekly, people in the town centre of Oban are still getting weekly collections.
‘Surely if bins can be collected in the town centre every week, then the council can do the same in Soroba where the problem with bins is now at an epidemic level.
‘The problem is that people have nowhere to put rubbish or recycling in Soroba so everything is contaminated.’
Soroba residents have complained of overflowing bins for weeks.