Domestic Waste Collection Strategy

Monday evening's Environment Committee considered a report on the city's Domestic Waste Collection Strategy.  This was in response to the Convener of Environment unilaterally announcing a move to fortnightly bin collections in January.  As I have said on a number of occasions I am not opposed to fortnightly bin collections in principle, I feel though that we need to ensure that there is buy-in by everyone involved before making such a momentous move.  This is why I broadly welcome the report which was agreed on Monday evening.  The report says that there will be wide spread consultation and I hope there will be.  I would encourage anyone with any views on this to get in touch with me.

The one area where I was disappointed  was that the issue of the recycling centres was not included in this consultation.  It beggars belief that Baldovie, Riverside and the now closed Marchbanks Recycling centres are not integral to the domestic waste collection strategy of the city.  The fact that anyone who mentioned the issue was told that it was 'irrelevant' by the Convener does not bode well for the consultation.  I wonder whether the people of Dundee believe that it is irrelevant.  On this topic it was interesting to see an article in this morning Courier where Bailie Ian Borthwick was raising concerns about fly-tipping in the city.

Moving back to the report which was before us on Monday evening  Here is some of what I said, 'As I have said before the Labour Group will support any measure which will improve the environment of the city and the environmental impact of the city.  The city has in the past been at the forefront of recycling and we should be trying to get back to that position.

We need to recognise as the report does that flatted and tenemental areas are difficult to deal with in terms of recycling.  In terms of the current grey bin collections we do not have this correct in many flatted areas of the city.  We need to be looking to best practice elsewhere and to some innovative thinking to find solutions which make recycling easy for residents in the city who live in flats or tenements.

I am glad about the stress put on consulting with the people of Dundee in the report.  I hope that this will be as wide ranging a consultation as possible.  We would struggle to get the people of Dundee to take part in any scheme which they did not support.

 I want finally to turn attention to the one omission from this report before us.  Can anyone explain to me why the future and operation of the recycling centres at Riverside, Baldovie and Marchbanks doesn’t form part of our Domestic Waste Collection Strategy? 

Convener, in the consultation which is proposed this evening will members of the public be allowed to make their views clear on the operation of the recycling centres?  Will this consultation cover every aspect of the Domestic Waste Collection Strategy or not?

I accept that, whilst I did not vote for the Administration’s budget, nobody brought forward any alternatives to the closure of Marchbanks, but people are complaining in the city about this and it is impacting on the carbon footprint of the city.  Surely if we are a listening council we will be prepared to listen to the views of Dundonians on this important issue.'