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Time to bin rubbish changes?

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By Fiona Reid
Time to bin rubbish changes?

SPIRALLING costs and problems with a new rubbish collection scheme have sparked calls for a rethink before it's rolled out regionwide.

It emerged this week that a pilot kerbside refuse programme in Wigtownshire, in which householders were issued with multiple bins, costs an extra £435,000.
And the overspend for next year is already expected to be £300,000.
In a report, Dumfries and Galloway Council officials admitted the current approach would not be sustainable if it was extended across the area – and some councillors are privately worried those costs could mount up to £2m if that happens.
Now South Scotland MSP Jim Hume has called on the council to suspend the planned roll out.
He said: “So far the scheme already in place for Wigtownshire has cost an extra £435,000. This could have massive implications for communities and the other services provided by the council if the roll out goes ahead to the rest of the region.
“Councillors and officials need to think very carefully about the impact the roll out of this scheme will have on budgets and resources. In my view the project should be suspended pending further deliberations.”
The scheme, which now requires householders to sort waste for recycling, started locally in August 2014 with Wigtownshire picked as the first area.
A total 2489 tonnes of refuse were picked up from homes in the initial 12 months.
A review took place over the summer with councillors set to discuss findings on Tuesday. However, that discussion was deferred.
But a report prepared for the meeting revealed a multitude of issues with the scheme, including:
* more refuse collection staff were needed than planned
* a lower than expected uptake among householders, especially for food waste
* initial difficulties completing routes
* unsuitability of the recycling boxes for some householders
* slower than expected sorting at kerbside
* high volumes of customer complaints at the start of the process.
Additionally, frontline staff reported concerns about potentially unsafe working practices, manual handling, longer working days and the suitability of the recycling boxes.
Report authors Greig Blayney and Fraser Marshall said: “There is no doubt that this whole exercise has been a significant learning curve for the service.
“Fundamentally the current overspend needs to be addressed by reviewing the routes and working with the workforce and Unions to improve operations to make them more efficient and productive.”

Annan and Eskdale, News

24th Nov

Traffic measure here to stay

By Fiona Reid | DNG24

Traffic measure here to stay
DAMAGE . . . the bollards at a new traffic calming measure in Annan were broken and bent after being hit just hours after the traffic lights were removed

A NEW traffic calming measure in Annan with aims to improve road safety ended up being struck by at least one vehicle within hours of it opening last weekend

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