Re­cy­cling cen­tre clo­sure protest

Com­mu­nity ac­tion

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - FRONT PAGE - BY TAMSIN GRAY

Fu­ri­ous res­i­dents of Port­soy will hold a de­mon­stra­tion this week in a fi­nal push to save their re­cy­cling cen­tre.

Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil re­vealed pro­pos­als to close Hat­ton, In­sch, Port­soy and White­hills re­cy­cling fa­cil­i­ties last sum­mer.

The author­ity vi­su­alises bal­anc­ing out the clo­sures with more ef­fi­cient kerb­side col­lec­tions. But res­i­dents of Port­soy im­me­di­ately op­posed the idea, and or­gan­ised a meet­ing to put for­ward ideas on how to max­imise the site.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives then spoke at the Banff and Buchan area com­mit­tee, where coun­cil­lors agreed they pre­ferred the three weekly pick-up op­tion and rec­om­mended that the pro­posal to close the Port­soy re­cy­cling cen­tre was re­moved. But when the pa­pers for in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices com­mit­tee – which will have the fi­nal say on the plans – came out, the rec­om­men­da­tion was not in­cluded.

Lo­cal com­mu­nity coun­cil mem­ber Rod Lovie said: “We are con­cerned that clo­sure of the Port­soy re­cy­cling cen­tre ap­pears to still be on the ta­ble. In our opin­ion the sec­tion of the con­sul­ta­tion deal­ing with the re­cy­cling cen­tres is bi­ased to­wards clo­sure.

“We are dis­ap­pointed that the de­ci­sion by the Banff and Buchan area com­mit­tee to op­pose the clo­sure of the Port­soy Re­cy­cling Cen­tre ap­pears to have made no dif­fer­ence and was not men­tioned in the con­sul­ta­tion re­port.

“How­ever, we have been given as­sur­ances by Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil that feed­back will be in­cluded in the re­port.

“A pub­lic de­mon­stra­tion is planned and our pe­ti­tion will be handed in to the coun­cil be­fore the meet­ing.

“We in­tend to show the coun­cil­lors from all parts of Aberdeen­shire, from Bod­dam to Ban­chory, that Port­soy de­serves to re­tain its re­cy­cling cen­tre.”

Chair­woman Caro­line Hobbs said the de­mon­stra­tion is to prove how strongly peo­ple feel about the pro­posal. She said: “We were fu­ri­ous that our re­port wasn’t orig­i­nally in­cluded, es­pe­cially as Ben­nachie’s con­cerns about the threat­ened clo­sure of the In­sch site were in­cluded.

“Rod Lovie com­plained and our re­port is now in­cluded. We have de­cided to hold a de­mon­stra­tion type gath­er­ing of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity at the Port­soy skip site to show how strongly ev­ery­one feels.”

Philip McKay, head of roads, land­scape and waste ser­vices for Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil, said: “It is heart­en­ing to see so much en­thu­si­asm for re­cy­cling in any part of Aberdeen­shire and we are con­sid­er­ing all rep­re­sen­ta­tions made ahead of a de­ci­sion on the area’s fu­ture waste strategy.”

The de­mon­stra­tion will take place on Satur­day at 2pm at the Port­soy Re­cy­cling Cen­tre. The in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices com­mit­tee will dis­cuss the pro­pos­als on Jan­uary 24.

“Our pe­ti­tion will be handed to the coun­cil be­fore the meet­ing”

ANGER: Coun­cil­lor Glen Reynolds talks to con­cerned lo­cal res­i­dents af­fected by the pro­posed clo­sure at the Port­soy waste site

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