South Isles Residents Campaign Against Continued Closure of Recycling Centre

Half the population of the linked islands of Burray and South Ronaldsay have signed a petition ‘to insist on the re-opening of the recycling centre in St. Margaret’s Hope’.

Since the lifting of lockdown only 2 of Orkney Islands Council’s household waste recycling centres have been reopened – Garson, Stromness and Hatston, Kirkwall. There is a limited weekly doorstep collection of smaller items which go in the recycling containers with a rota of glass, plastic, metal and paper. The situation in the non-linked isles is particularly concerning but OIC state: “we hope to soon resume special collections in the North Isles where this service is delivered by local contractors.”

The petition, organised by Dave Woodcock of the South Ronaldsay and Burray Community Council, had a total of 677 signatures with 581 from the area directly affected.

SRBCC Chair Julie Woodhead hands the petition to local Green Councillor, Steve Sankey, with the gates of the Hope HWRC

The petition was handed over to Councillor Steve Sankey of the Scottish Greens who represents the islands. He said:

“This is a clear statement of unhappiness from our communities about the continued closure of the ‘Hope Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC).

“I’ve had more representation on this issue than any other over my three years as a Councillor to date. Obviously as a local resident myself, I share the frustration of a 30+ mile round-trip to the nearest alternative facility.

“The re-introduction of kerbside collections has helped, but I recognise that for many residents the Hope HWRC closure has caused considerable practical difficulties and much angst.

“I also accept that there have been considerable operational challenges caused by COVID for OIC Waste Services,as I have been liaising regularly with fellow Members and Officers as we try to resolve this issue, but the time has come to find a solution and re-open our much-missed facility.”

Councillor Sankey felt that,”The Islands’ Green Recovery Programme may provide opportunities ahead for our communities to introduce more local initiatives to progress issues such as the reduction of single use plastics and further boost re-cycling rates on a journey towards a ‘circular economy’. “

The petition was handed over to OIC’s Interim Chief Executive, John Mundell.

Steve Sankey added:

“We need to get the Hope HWRC re-open in some capacity as soon as possible, as it’s as important to us as the schools, the doctor’s surgery and the shops.”   

An update from Orkney Islands Council can be read here: Waste update – Some of the Challenges Explained

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