WATCH: Wheelie bin fears addressed by council

Concerns about wheelie bins set to be given to every home as part of a new recycling scheme have moved the council to assure the isles public that they have nothing to worry about.

Even some councillors have previously aired their reservations about the bins, due to be introduced from March 2018.

In August, councillor Andrea Manson said: “I can think of many, many people who will not be able to fix down their wheelie bins and they will fly away”. “It’s going to be a nightmare – be warned”, she added.

Every household will get two wheelie bins (one for paper and cardboard and one for cans, cartons and plastics) which will be collected every other week. Household waste, meanwhile, will be presented as normal and picked up every two weeks, too.

At a media briefing this afternoon (Monday), council officials said they had taken people’s views on board and come up with some advice and messages of reassurance.

SIC team leader of waste management Colin Bragg said: “There are minor wheelie bin problems but nothing insurmountable.”

He said there are three main issues which have been raised most often by members of the public.

The first is the impact of strong wind and the risk that some people will not be able to tether their bins in place.

But the solution to this problem, according to Mr Bragg and his colleague SIC director of infrastructure services Maggie Sandison, is to buy bungee cords.

“We have about 5,000 wheelie bins already in Shetland and people have come up with some really good ways of securing their bins,” said Ms Sandison.

SIC team leader waste management Colin Bragg and SIC waste prevention officer Brydon Sinclair demonstrate how to secure the new bins. Photo: Dave Donaldson

“Something as simple as a bungee cord can be wrapped around your bin – and you can put another one on your lid – so we are suggesting things like that to people. That would only cost about £3 to get one of those bungee cords.”

Ms Sandison also recommended steel brackets which can be affixed to a fence or wall and allow a bin to be hooked in place.

Time was set aside at the media briefing for a demonstration on how to use the bungee cords and bracket.

Another issue which Mr Bragg said has frequently popped up is collection points that are hard for residents to access – particularly those at the end of main roads and in rural areas.

“If any individuals have specific issues about their collection points we would invite them to get in touch,” said Mr Bragg.

The last issue is the challenge that will be faced by elderly and vulnerable people, especially those who struggle to walk, because they might find it hard to drag their wheelie bins any great distance.

But Mr Bragg said an “assisted uplift scheme” was being drawn up and, when finalised, this would mean anyone needing help moving their bins would get it.

“We are very keen to make sure we are not putting people in a situation where they might come to harm,” said Mr Bragg.

In March 2018 the bins will be introduced to around 450 houses in Brae and Muckle Roe.

Any issues which then come to light will be taken into account as the roll-out across the rest of Shetland takes places over the summer.

Shetland’s recycling rate of nine per cent is far below the national average, which sits at 44 per cent.

The Scottish government wants the whole country to recycle 70 per cent of waste by 2025.



Add Your Comment
  • Michael Garriock

    • November 6th, 2017 16:48

    So, what exactly is the subtle difference between ‘carton’ and ‘cardboard’, seeing as apparently folk bothering with this are supposed to put them in different bins.

    Isn’t you average cornflakes packet or 6/12/24 carry out box of beer bottles etc a ‘cardboard carton’. Can those go in either bin?

    What percentage would we be ‘recycling’ if everything that goes through the incinerator was included? I’ll be surprised if it wasn’t over 70%, and could be higher – Remember those dump fires the other year – discarded combustible meterial.

    If the Scot’s Govt, refuse to recognise the productive re-use of materials Shetland has been doing for circa 17 years of turning waste in to usable in demand heat, as ‘recycling’, and insist instead of bits of this and bits of that being carted all over the face of the earth instead. They’ll just have to get on with sorting it themselves at their end the way they want it sorted, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Michael Inkster

    • November 6th, 2017 19:19

    Fences, similar to the one that wheelie bin was attached to in the demonstration, can often be blow down in severe winter gales, so I’m not convinced that a single rubber cord is a good solution, especially for those staying in the country who are exposed to prevailing winter gales!?

  • Suzy V Jolly

    • November 7th, 2017 0:26

    ““We are very keen to make sure we are not putting people in a situation where they might come to harm,” said Mr Bragg.”

    Care to share a copy of the risk assessment then, given that you surely must be aware of the dangers of eye injuries from bungee cords?

  • Mary Smith

    • November 7th, 2017 6:19

    Having just come back from Aberdeen, I was shocked at the eye sore of numerous wheely bins in all the houses gardens. What an eye sore and they take up so much space. Has the council not considered large communal re cycling bins placed on the road side where items are deposited into. These can be emptied by the council any time even during the night. The same with household waste. Each community block where I live in Tenerife has one or two household deposit cupboards , and it is collected during the night, every night. There is no mess or smell.

  • Peter Long

    • November 7th, 2017 22:19

    Another snag for Shetland wheelies is that the salty air will quickly put paid to the thin rods that hold the wheels on.


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