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News / Brae and Muckle Roe to lead the way as SIC begins to introduce recycling collection

The council has received new recycling bins ready for distribution to households. Photo courtesy of SIC.

HOUSEHOLDS in Brae and Muckle Roe are to benefit from a recycling collection beginning next month – ahead of the service being introduced throughout Shetland in June.

The first collections will take place on Wednesday 7 March and residents in the two North Mainland settlements will receive information packs in the post in the next few weeks containing an introductory letter, leaflet and collection calendar.

Shetland Islands Council said the packs would explain how to take part in the new service and when each recycling bin should be put out for collection.

The local authority possesses the unwanted accolade of being the worst performing in Scotland for recycling with a rate of just nine per cent – compared to a national average of 44 per cent and a Scottish Government target of 70 per cent by 2025.

A more limited recycling collection was abandoned almost five years ago. Since then, the proportion of waste being recycled slumped – with most rubbish being burned at the Energy Recovery Plant at Gremista to fuel the district heating scheme.

But last year councillors unanimously backed a scheme drawn up by council officials in conjunction with Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) to collect paper, card, plastic, cans and cartons for recycling. ZWS is providing over £500,000 in funding.

That will pay for residents to receive two new recycling bins – one with a blue lid for paper, card and cardboard, and one with a grey lid for cans, cartons and plastic bottles. Non-recyclable waste will be collected every two weeks.

The council is encouraging residents to secure their new bins once they have been delivered. Two bungee cords will be supplied for each bin “to be used at the householder’s discretion”.

The shorter one can secure the lid and a longer one can secure the bin to a suitable fence, fencepost or wall. Other options are also available including a bin handle clamp and a rubber bin lid strap, while the local authority suggested householders may also wish to install a store to house the bins – similar to many “bruck boxes” across the islands.

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SIC environment and transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson said: “While high winds are an issue in Shetland, we need to make it as easy as possible for householders and collection crews to use the new service.

“We have been working to find affordable and practical solutions that tether bins securely and allow easy access for collection crews. We’re asking residents not to permanently fix their bins to something like a wall or fencepost, and not to use rope, string or twine on collection days.

“If a suitable method has been used, once your bins have been emptied the collection crew will re-secure them as they found them.”

  • More details on the new recycling collection service can be found here.

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