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Council / SIC awaiting guidance on whether dump can reopen

Two wind turbines planned for the council's waste management facility at Gremista are in doubt - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNewsThe Gremista waste management facility is located on the right of this picture.

SHETLAND Islands Council says it is awaiting guidance on the prospect of reopening the dump in Lerwick after first minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government will be “looking urgently” at the possibility of reopening waste and recycling centres.

The Gremista waste management facility has been closed to the public since March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been calls from many for it to reopen to allow people to dispose of items like garden waste with social distancing measures in place.

On Sunday first minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that reopening waste and recycling centres was on the mind of the Scottish Government, as was allowing garden centres to open their doors again.

“We will be looking urgently – in close discussion with councils – at the possibility of reopening waste and recycling centres,” she said.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said on Monday that the local authority is “awaiting guidance from the Scottish Government on this”.

There have been instances of fly tipping becoming more frequent around Scotland while dumps remain shut, but this is not thought to be a particular problem in Shetland on land.

The Scottish Government, meanwhile, has relaxed the number of times people can exercise outdoors, but it has stopped short of lifting any further restrictions as Sturgeon continues to stress the ‘stay at home’ message.

The first minister stressed at a press conference on Monday that changes to lockdown restrictions announced by UK prime minister Boris Johnson do not generally apply to Scotland.

“If you live in Scotland, abide by the law that applies here and follow Scottish Government guidance,” Sturgeon said.