At Monday night's Neighbourhood Services Committee there was a proposal put forward which was designed to make sure that commercial operators do not use the Household Waste Recycling Centres at Riverside and Baldovie.
I support making commercial operators pay the appropriate rate for the disposal of waste. I had some concerns about the way in which this will be implemented though.
I was very concerned that there appeared to have been little thought about the lay-out of the sitesand about how council employees are empowered to be able to challenge anyone who should not be using the centres.
The council was proposing to use new digital resources and some works to help implement the policy, yet there was no evidence that funding was available for this. It was suggested in the report that this policy would lead to an increase in income. I want to see that the council delivers on what officers and the SNP Administration say they can deliver. So I was pleased to be told that the council will report back in around eight months on its performance against increasing income from commercial waste.
I also want to see more items that otherwise might end up in one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres either reused or recycled. We must do more to prevent resources which could be re-used being binned.
However my main concern would be that this policy ends up creating an unintended consequence which is a rise in fly-tipping. I think people who shouldn't be using the Household Recycling Centres at the moment know that they shouldn't be using them. Business ethics might not be their strong point. I wonder if it is naive to think that these people will accept that they cannot use these sites and then register as commercial operators and pay to dump their rubbish. I hope they do but I fear a rise in fly-tipping. This would would be bad for the environment and the amenity of the city and also bad for the finances of the council. I received reassurances that this would not be the case but I do worry that this policy is counter-productive.