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Also in the news / Energy plant upgrade, peat restoration event, food documentaries, slow wage growth and more

The Waste to Energy plant in Lerwick.
The Waste to Energy plant in Lerwick.

WORK to upgrade the energy recovery plant in Lerwick is due to get underway on 30 July.

The work, which will increase plant efficiency, heat output and operational lifetime, will last until mid October.

The council said deliveries of waste by regular customers should be made to the Gremista Waste Management Facility.

Disposal of confidential waste will not be offered during the upgrades. People can contact erpadmin@shetland.gov.uk or phone 01595 745160 to either go on a waiting list or to be contacted once the service resumes.

During this time there will be no disruption to the Lerwick District Heating scheme, which will continue to operate as normal.

TO COINCIDE with International ‘Bog Day’ Shetland Amenity Trust is inviting people to get involved with the restoration of an area of local bogland on Sunday (25 July).

The aim of the event at Girlsta is to raise awareness of the valuable role peatlands play in tackling climate change and to take practical action in helping to protect these carbon stores.

The event will take place from 2pm-5pm, and refreshments will be available from Isla’s catering van.

No experience is necessary – just a “willingness to do some practical peatland conservation work and mitigate climate change”.

The site is a 15 minute walk from the public road over rough ground. Sturdy, waterproof footwear is essential, and a bucket would be helpful.

Participants can meet opposite the Old Girlsta Chapel on the Girlsta-Strom road. A Google Maps link can be found here.

A SERIES of documentaries inviting people to think about food production and farming from the animals’ viewpoint are being shown at this year’s Screenplay festival.

It is taking place to complement cultural activity around COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, taking place in Glasgow later this year.

The films are The Last Autumn, Grenada and the Goats, The Truffle Hunters and Gunda.

The screenings are supported by Taste of Shetland, the Shetland Livestock Marketing Group (SLMG) and Climate Fringe 2021.

It aims to complement cultural activity around COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, taking place in Glasgow later this year.

Shetland Arts’ Screenplay is due to return in September.

SHETLAND has had the second slowest mean wage growth of all UK local authority areas over the last seven years, according to new data.

The ONS data showed that wages in Shetland have grown 12 per cent on average since 2014, which is half the UK’s mean increase.

Only Aberdeen (three per cent) fared worse. Orkney saw a 15 per cent wage rise.

LOCAL MSP Beatrice Wishart visited some of Cooke Aquaculture’s Shetland operations on Monday – and highlighted the “vital” role the industry plays in economy.

She toured a seawater site off Uyeasound in Unst and saw the other end of the cycle in play at the packing station at Mid Yell.

Wishart said: “It’s many years since I was last out on a salmon farm and production has changed considerably since then including technological advances.”

Cooke’s Shetland regional manager David Brown said: “As a family-owned company having the support of the people who live on these islands is so important to us.

“It was nice that some of the 132 people we employ in Shetland got the chance to speak with her to explain what they do for us and how important aquaculture is to the lifeblood of the communities they live in.”

A CONSULTATION on proposals to change the response to workplace automatic fire alarm (AFA) signals has been launched today by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The proposals are only around workplace alarms – not private homes.

Scottish chief officer Martin Blunden said: “We undertake in the region of 57,000 unnecessary blue light journeys every year responding to workplace AFAs that turn out to be false alarms.

“This brings risks to our crews, other road users and pedestrians as well as having an impact on the environment with an estimated 575 tonnes of carbon emissions produced.”

The consultation can be accessed here up until 11 October.