Friday, August 16, 2013

Council's climbdown over Riverside recycling restrictions

After months of raising residents' complaints about the restriction on recycling facilities at the Riverside Civic Amenity facility, the City Council administration has finally climbed down over the issue, with the following agenda item being added as an urgent item to next Monday's Policy and Resources Committee:

"10(b) REVIEW OF RECYCLING CENTRES (AN98-2013)

Reference is made to Report No 51-2013 agreed at Policy and Resources Committee on the 14th February, 2013.  The report provided for a reconfiguration of the city’s recycling centres including the closure of the Marchbanks centre in order to achieve revenue savings of £316,000 per annum.  The report also identified restrictions to be placed on the types of materials that can be accepted at the remaining two sites at Baldovie and Riverside and this was based on users taking their materials to the sites where they are processed for recycling and thus achieving savings in handling and transport.

The restrictions on the types of materials accepted at each centre have proven to be very unpopular due to the additional travel distances required, particularly for those living to the east and west ends of the city.  In recognising these public concerns, it is proposed to amend the reconfiguration of the sites to allow green waste to be accepted at Baldovie and mixed waste to be accepted at Riverside.

The changes introduced have to date been successful in achieving the financial savings required.  At the same time there has been no significant impact on recycling levels achieved at the Recycling Centres and in some areas there have been a number of positive improvements. At the same time there has been no adverse impact on the incidents of fly tipping in the city and nor has there been any significant change in the amount of residual waste collected within the grey bins.

The additional costs associated with this change are largely associated with handling and transport costs and are estimated to be £85,000 in a full financial year. The Director of Corporate Services advises that the pro-rata expenditure of £52,000 will be funded from general contingencies in 2013/2014 with provision to be made in future years’ revenue budgets.

Committee is asked to approve this amendment."

Over the past four and a half months, I have been inundated with complaints from constituents about the fact that bulky items and mixed waste was no longer being accepted at Riverside and, whilst the council administration has been very slow to respond to public concerns, I am pleased that, at last, common sense has finally prevailed.