Reduced to rubble: Highlands put limit on construction waste filled recycling centres

THE Highland Council is set to cut down on the amount of construction and demolition waste brought to its 21 household waste recycling centres.

The move has been tipped to save £300,000 over two years, with the constituency managing 22% more waste per person than the Scottish average. Only waste generated through minor DIY activities will now be accepted at the recycling centres.

The council say that much of the additional waste at the centres comes from construction and demolition work – with rubble, plasterboard, timber, kitchen units and bathroom suits being commonly brought items. However, they insist that they have no statutory duty to accept this kind of waste.

Under the new changes, approved by the Highlands’ environmental, development and infrastructure committee, tippers and trucks will not be permitted to any Highland Council recycling centre with waste, nor will trailers over 2.4 metres and vans over 3.5 tonnes.

Householders will still be allowed to bring small quantities of construction and demolition waste to recycling centres, but the amounts will be restricted to that of which can be transported in the boot of a car – with only one visit per day being permitted. These restrictions will not apply to household waste such as furniture, white goods and garden waste.

Chair of the committee which approved the plans, councillor Allan Henderson, said, “These new measures will help to ensure that the commercial and trade waste producers are not taking advantage of the services we offer members of the public at our network of recycling centres. Householders undertaking small-scale home improvements will still be able to take small quantities of waste materials to our Recycling Centres but we are asking everyone to step up and take more responsibility for their own waste.  It is not a statutory function for the council to undertake and we are not in a position to subsidise the cost, especially when it comes to construction and demolition waste.

“If anyone is using a commercial company or a tradesman to carry out DIY jobs for them, they need to make sure that arrangements are in place for materials to be disposed of correctly.”

Alongside these changes, the council have updated their bulky uplift service to include bathroom suites, kitchen units, window frames and doors.  The service is restricted to householders, and a maximum of six items can be collected – with charges ranging from £22.69 to £45.37.