Soroba bins can­not meet de­mand, says coun­cil boss

The Oban Times - - NEWS - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

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.

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