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Vehicle restrictions at Highland Council household waste recycling centres


By Staff Reporter- NOSN


Councillor Allan Henderson says the restrictions are necessary to help provide efficient and cost-effective services that contribute towards environmental sustainability. Picture: James Mackenzie
Councillor Allan Henderson says the restrictions are necessary to help provide efficient and cost-effective services that contribute towards environmental sustainability. Picture: James Mackenzie

Vehicle restrictions are to be put in place next week at Highland Council's household waste recycling centres, including those in Wick and Thurso.

The local authority says the new measures are necessary in helping to provide efficient and cost-effective services that contribute towards environmental sustainability. It acknowledges there are concerns over a potential rise in fly-tipping and says this will continue to be monitored.

From Monday (February 3), the following vehicles will not be allowed entry to the centres with any waste:

  • Trailers with more than one axle or greater than 2.4 metres (eight feet) in length
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes or greater
  • Tippers and flat-bed trucks of any weight
  • Plant vehicles

Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of the communities and place committee, said: “In Highland we manage 22 per cent more waste per person than the Scottish average and household waste recycling centres have experienced a 50 per cent increase in waste in the last decade, costing up to £2.4m in handling and treatment costs, which brings costs the council can no longer afford.

“As reported by Audit Scotland, between 2013/14 and 2018/19 Highland Council’s core revenue funding reduced by 9.8 per cent. To cope with a reducing budget and increasing costs, the environment, development and infrastructure committee agreed in 2019 to the restrictions at household waste recycling centres which are anticipated to achieve approximately £300,000 of savings over the next two years.

“The new restrictions are necessary in helping the council provide efficient and cost-effective services that contribute towards environmental sustainability and the development of a more circular economy.

“Larger trailers and commercial-type vehicles have been included in the restrictions due to the large volume of material that they can carry and congestion that can create at the sites. In addition, these vehicles are often associated with trade abuse of council facilities. Restricting access will help to reduce the overall amount of material that is handled at household waste recycling centres."

Councillor Henderson added: “We understand there are concerns that the changes will result in increased fly-tipping. However, this is an issue across the UK and tends to arise from rogue traders rather than law-abiding citizens. We currently have systems in place to capture instances of fly-tipping and will continue to monitor this and take enforcement action when necessary.”

To report fly-tipping, members of the public are asked to visit www.highland.gov.uk/report or call 01349 886603.

To book a bulky uplift, visit www.highland.gov.uk/request or call 01349 886603.

Caithness and Sutherland are among the areas where the council operates transfer stations and/or landfill sites where householders and businesses can pay to deliver waste directly.

Leaflets detailing the vehicle restrictions are available from all household waste recycling centres and information about the changes has been communicated via social media and the council's website.



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