The council’s first bulky uplift collection took place on Tuesday at Virkie and resulted in five electrical items being collected.
The paid-for Shetland-wide service has been started as the community skip service is withdrawn, and should make it easier for people to get rid of large items, said environmental health chief Maggie Sandison. The service will operate on a six-weekly cycle, with a charge of £30 for collection of six items.
She said suitable items for collection include large pieces of furniture, bagged garden waste and large or heavy electrical items such as fridges and washing machines. These are sent south and any valuable elements removed and recycled. Old computers will also be collected.
Meanwhile she explained that landowners can organise controlled burning of domestic waste on their own land so long as they do not create dark smoke.
Most waste from DIY projects such as dry untreated wood, old kitchen cupboards, paper and cardboard can be burned in a bonfire, as can dry garden waste. Wet vegetation should not be burned as it creates a lot of smoke.
Mrs Sandison advised anyone burning materials to make sure the smoke does not cause nuisance to neighbours. She said: “The occasional bonfire with carefully selected materials should be fine, but make sure the weather conditions are suitable and avoid very windy days.”
However, anything containing plastic, foam or rubber should not be burned as it creates noxious fumes. Items in this category include polystyrene, foam-backed carpets, furniture with foam material inside, plastic packaging and tyres.
Meanwhile staff at environmental health want to make recycling as “effortless” as possible.
To this end new easy-to-access recycling collection points are to be introduced in Lerwick and Scalloway to replace the kerbside collection service, which came to an end on Monday.
The new collection points will be in the form of recycling wheelie bins, which will be in place from 1st May. Mrs Sandison said the aim is to make recycling as easy as possible for everyone. She said: “This means people from all over Shetland will have the opportunity to recycle their plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, food tins and drinks cans, and newspapers whenever they want at a choice of locations.”
The new recycling wheelie bins for all materials will be located at the following Lerwick sites: Tesco, The Co-op, Victoria Pier, Rudda Park car park, SIC North Ness (lower car park), Staney Hill Hall car park, Gremista Civic Amenity Site and Recycling Centre. In Scalloway they will be at Blydoit and Burn Beach car park.
In the meantime, householders can take their waste plastic, glass, tins and newspapers to the Gremista centre.
Mrs Sandison said: “Shetland Islands Council is keen to see more householders involved in recycling, and we recognise that for some people, keeping their recycling in the house for up to two weeks was inconvenient.
“In rural areas we have not been able to recycle the full range of materials that you could in Lerwick and Scalloway.
“Improving the recycling facilities where people regularly come to shop or park their cars should provide an opportunity for everyone to recycle more when it’s most convenient to them.”