Saturday, January 15, 2011

Highland Council looking at fines for households that don't recycle

The BBC reports:

"A council has suggested fines would help to encourage households to put rubbish in the correct recycling bins collected by the local authority.

Highland Council has proposed making a "strong recommendation" to the Scottish government that fixed penalty notices (FPN) be extended to cover recycling.

The authority has pointed out that in England people can be fined if they throw waste in the wrong bin."

Full BBC article here and the council's response discussion paper here.

The Council will discuss their response on the issue next week and to be fair to them it is a fairly comprehensive document. It is making waves in the waste and recycling industry, here's how the Materials Recycling Week website bills the document:

"There is a “significant risk of failure” in the Scottish Government’s two year lead-in times for introducing landfill bans, Highland Council has warned.

In the consultation document on the Zero Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2011, the Scottish Government plans to introduce requirements to sort dry recyclables and food waste in 2013, with landfill bans on both materials to follow a year later, and a total ban on landfilling organics in 2017."

Much of the Council's immediate recycling strategy will centre around going to an alternate recycling and non recycling rubbish pick up when the green bin moves to a fortnightly collection (in Nairn this starts in July we think). How then could we get moving on more recycling immediately, even if the best laid plans of the Scottish Government might come off the rails. What could be done in the Highlands immediately?

Well, fair enough, start dishing the fines out for anyone not prepared to sort their waste into the proper bins but can we have some more facilities please. What do households do with cardboard, including much of the thinner stuff used in food packaging these days? And plastic too?
Can we have a container for these items next to the others at the Co-op please? Nairnites have shown themselves to be willing to use the existing facilities and it would be easy to take extra items along too when visiting the town centre. That would save a lot of stuff going to landfill. It's also just to far to go out the Grantown Road with items to recycle, if you have a car! Anyway does a five mile drive there and back do anything to save the planet when it's all balanced out. Contrast the recycling facilities in Nairn town centre with those in Settle, a smaller town in Yorkshire. Pictures below. So how about fines for Councils that don't provide comprehensive recycling facilities in town centre car parks? It's no good coming out with the stick before the carrots have been tried!


Brian @ said...

Perhaps to support the fact the HC wants to force fortnightly rubbish collection on us?

After all, better to sack ordinary workers, reduce services, and punish tax payers, so that top managers can retain their golden pay schemes for themselves, right?

Anonymous said...

Who is going to be checking the bins?

Graisg said...

Well anon, Highland Council will obviously have to create a special Bin Poilis with the power to issue a fine on the doorstep. Too bad if some passerby has done a good deed and picked up some litter, a plastic bottle say, and placed it in the nearest bin (yours perhaps?). you'd be bang to rights and on a charge for attempting to destroy the planet.
Padlocks for wheeliebins may become commonplace?
And a Bin Poilis would cost a few shillings too, and they'd probably need a manager.
Good point Brian - sack the high heid yins not the guys on the bins!

Anonymous said...

There is no way I will be running around the town or country to do recycling.If they want it done they will have to supply the correct bins. I like many others will be leaving out black bags and risk a jail sentence because I would refuse to pay fines.
Driving to the recycling depot out the Grantown road defeats any benefits of recycling. The petrol used is much more harmful than the waste we are getting rid off. you don't have to be a genius to work that out. Collection at the door is always goint to be more 'green'
The HC is using this as a money saving scheme, and hey while they are at it lets just fine people at the same time and make some more money!!

E.Maree said...

"Too bad if some passerby has done a good deed and picked up some litter, a plastic bottle say, and placed it in the nearest bin (yours perhaps?). you'd be bang to rights and on a charge for attempting to destroy the planet."

That's a scary thought for those of us with bins who get collected on the high street, mine are regularly 'borrowed' by passer-bys eating takeaways despite the public bins next to it.

I've only had trouble trying to do recycling... I couldn't find any information on collection days online and the council building staff had no idea, and now my recycling bin's been pinched. It's discouraging.

Graisg said...

The town centre recycling collection isn't very user friendly either - it has to be up the street by 0700, you don't see many blue boxes in the town centre. Often it's best just to take papers etc over to the big bins at the Co-op.

Losinmabottle said...

Couldn't agree more with anon. It's absolute nonsense even to consider penalties when the council has failed to provide an appropriate recycling service.
Apart from a brown bin for garden waste what have we got - a two foot blue box which will contain the waste paper and cans from my family in a couple of days. We have to drive to get rid of glass cardboard and plastics. to make it worthwhile we stockpile to the extent I can't move in my shed for recyclrubbish until I make a trip to the depot. Often sorely tempted to put rubbish in general refuse bin but try not to