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Mon December 04 2023

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Highland Council clamps down on construction waste

16 Aug 19 Highlands Council is putting in place measures to cut down the amount of construction and demolition waste left at its household waste recycling centres.

Quantities of construction and demolition waste accepted at Highland recycling centres will be restricted to small amounts generated through minor DIY activities only.

In parallel, it will be expanding its ‘bulky uplift’ chargeable collection service.

The changes will come into force on 1 November this year.

The council said that it manages 22% more waste per person than the Scottish average. This equates to an additional 24,000 tonnes of waste a year, costing up to £2.4m in handling and treatment costs.

Much of the additional waste at Recycling Centres is construction and demolition waste such as rubble, plasterboard, timber, old kitchen units and bathroom suites. “The council has no statutory duty to accept this kind of waste but has previously allowed householders to deposit wastes of this type,” it said.

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Members of the environmental, development and infrastructure committee have approved implementation of the changes, which are expected to save the Council £300,000 over two years.

Under the changes, trailers over 2.4m, vans over 3.5 tonnes, tippers and trucks will not be permitted to any Highland Council recycling centre with any waste. Householders will be allowed to bring small quantities of construction and demolition waste but this will be restricted to what can be transported in the boot of a car and householders will be limited to one visit one visit per day with this material. The restrictions will not apply to normal household waste such as furniture, white goods and garden waste.

Chair of the Committee, Cllr 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.”

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