Despite reports of fly-tipping, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has confirmed, in line with Scottish Government guidance, that Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in the Western Isles will remain closed.
There are five HWRCs in the Western Isles which are located in Habost, Ness; Creed Park Waste Management Facility, Lochs Road; Urgha, Harris, Market Stance, Benbecula and Garrygall, Barra. The Comhairle accepts this will be inconvenient to many householders but is asking island residents to be patient.
A Comhairle spokesperson said: “The position is the same across the whole of Scotland as all Local Authority HWRCs in Scotland are currently closed. Although we accept that this will be a cause of inconvenience to many householders, we would ask everyone to be patient. All of the Covid-19 related restrictions placed on our communities are designed to protect – especially the more vulnerable members of our community.”
The current guidance position is that HWRCs should remain closed whilst CnES awaits further guidance from Scottish Government on whether and when travelling to an HWRC is considered an essential journey and if the operation of a Household Waste Recycling Centre is deemed as a critical service.
The Scottish Government is currently looking at the full impacts of HWRC’s re-opening and how this will be managed. As soon as the situation changes to allow HWRC’s to re-open, we will inform members of when and how this will be implemented in a way that protects staff and the public.”
CnES acknolwedged there have been some reports of waste being fly tipped as a result of the closure of HWRC facilities. The spokesperson continued: “Fly tipping is a criminal activity which can result in a large financial penalty or even a custodial sentence and should not be acceptable in any community.
“Please ask any resident who witnesses the illegal dumping of waste to report it. This can be reported to SEPA, Police Scotland, Environmental Health or by using the Dumb Dumpers hotline 0845 2 30 40 90 or website https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/DumbDumpers.’