MIL-OSI United Kingdom: Improvements to waste and recycling collections across Highland – starting in Ross and Cromarty

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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

The Highland Council is making improvements to waste and recycling collections across Highland – starting in Ross and Cromarty (and Dornoch).

Residents in Ross and Cromarty (and Dornoch) will receive a letter in the post over the next six weeks which will explain what is changing and when.

The letters will explain that green (or grey) bins will be used to recycle mixed plastics, metals and food and drink cartons. Blue bins will be used to recycle paper, card and cardboard only. Each of the recycling bins will be collected every 4 weeks.

Details of how and when residents existing blue and green bins will be changed, will also be provided in the letters.

Around 15,000 properties in Ross and Cromarty will also be provided with a new weekly food waste recycling service – this includes the following areas: Alness, Avoch, Conon Bridge, Culbokie, Evanton, Dingwall, Fortrose, Invergordon, Maryburgh, Muir of Ord, Munlochy, North Kessock, Rosemarkie and Strathpeffer. Silver food waste caddies and caddy liners will be delivered along with the new non-recyclable waste bins. 

Households in receipt of the weekly food waste recycling service will be provided with a new 140 litre grey non-recyclable waste bin while all other households will be provided with a new 180 litre grey non-recyclable waste bin. All non-recyclable waste bin collections will remain on a fortnightly basis.

A detailed booklet will be delivered with the new bins explaining the changes and what to put in each bin.  A new collection calendar will also be provided with the details of the day the new collection service starts and which bin to put out.

Councillor Graham Mackenzie, Chair of Communities and Place Committee, stated: “I am delighted to announce this substantial programme of changes to waste and recycling services across the region, starting with Ross and Cromarty in April.”

He continued: “The Highland Council has made a commitment to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste sent for disposal and increase the amount recycled – these changes will help make it easier for the public to recycle more, helping them to reduce their impact on the environment.

“Residents are urged to look out for their letters and to keep a note of the important dates when the changes will be implemented.

“Separating the recyclable material collected at the kerbside into two bins is called twin stream recycling and will improve the quality and quantity of recycling, reduce the costs associated with waste disposal, which in turn will help to maintain other vital services.”

The Highland Council has welcomed £6.55 million in funding from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund to implement the changes to waste and recycling collections for communities across the region. 

The funding includes the provision of the all-new non-recyclable waste bins to householders along with facilitating the expansion of the food waste collection service to another 30,000 households in the region, further enhancing the recycling services provided by the Council.  Modifications to the Portree and Caithness Waste Transfer Stations to help support the changes to the recycling services is also included in the funding award from the Scottish Government. 

Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling Improvement Fund Manager David Gunn said: “We’re pleased to see these changes being made by Highland Council. By making it easier for residents to recycle more, the area will help cut its carbon footprint and stop valuable materials from going to waste.

“This is vital if we’re to ease pressure on the planet now, and for future generations by becoming a more circular, sustainable society fit for the future.”

The Council has also approved capital investment in waste infrastructure with the construction of a new Waste Transfer Station in Fort William, along with a communications and engagement package to support residents with the changes to the recycling services.

The changes to waste and recycling collections will be implemented in a phased approach across the Highland region starting with Ross and Cromarty in April. Future phases are detailed below:

Nairn – May 2024

Inverness May/June 2024

Badenoch & Strathspey – August 2024

Caithness – September 2024

Sutherland – October/November 2024

Skye & Lochalsh – February 2025

Lochaber – April/May 2025

Households are advised that the changes will be implemented according to the refuse and recycling collection routes, therefore not all properties within a town/area will have their bins delivered at the same time.  More detailed information will be available for householders on the Councils website including the programme of bin deliveries –

Community Engagement Sessions will be held in Libraries, Leisure Centres, supermarkets and shops providing more information on the changes to waste and recycling collections. The Waste Awareness team will be on hand to answer any questions.

Highland Council Business Waste Customers in Ross and Cromarty will be contacted over the next few weeks about the twin stream recycling collections for their business.

For more information and tips on how to reduce your waste please visit:

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