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Fate of Recycling Centres Deferred

It seems extraordinary that in these times of a climate emergency that Orkney Islands Council would be looking for ways to make it harder for islanders to recycle and dispose of waste safely.

Last year when we went into our first lockdown it became very rapidly apparent how important recycling and waste disposal was and is.

There was restricted opening of limited recycling sites and locals had a hard fight to get the facility at St Margaret’s Hope re-opened. South Isles Residents Campaign Against Continued Closure of Recycling Centre

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

A report by OIC officers recommended that the centres at St Margaret’s Hope and Cursiter should cease to be operated as Household Waste and Recycling Centres – sites which can accept waste as well as recycling – due to the costs of equipping them with staff facilities and the ongoing costs of employing staff to operate the sites to SEPA’s licensing requirements.

At the council’s  Development and Infrastructure Committee on 30th March,  a successful motion by Green councillor Steve Sankey meant that the decision to close the centres has been deferred with more reports to follow.

The two sites for the time being will continue to operate as recycling centres only.

As covered in The Orkney News previously, Orkney Islands Council record for recycling is poor. Rise in waste incineration “a major threat to Scotland’s recycling targets.”

It would be a backward step and defeating much of the progress which has been made in recycling in Orkney and the prevention of fly tipping to close centres which make it easier for people to dispose of waste safely.

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