South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway waste scheme costs run into millions

Wheelie bins Image copyright Getty Images

A council will need to invest an estimated £8.2m on a new household waste system to replace one it piloted but was never able to roll out.

The Dumfries and Galloway authority tried a recycling scheme in part of the region but recently decided it should not be extended across its entire area.

It has opted for a brand new three wheelie-bin option instead.

However, a report to councillors has outlined the "significant investment" needed to introduce the scheme.

Dumfries and Galloway Council operates a one wheelie-bin per household system in most of the region thanks to an Eco Deco plant which officially opened in 2007.

It separates waste, meaning homeowners do not have to.

Image caption The council hopes to move to the new system over the next two years

New regulations prompted the council to move towards a multi-bin system which it began to pilot in Wigtownshire in 2014.

However, it will not be rolled out on the grounds of cost and health and safety.

Thousands of bins purchased for that scheme remain in storage and will never be used for their original purpose.

The council has now decided to move to a three wheelie-bin system over the next couple of years.

A new report has set out the cost implications including:

  • £8.2m on new vehicles, wheelie bins and community collection sites
  • £2.8m on "rectification" of assets returned to the council after the termination of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) waste contract
  • an amount "yet to be clarified" on equipment replacement at the Eco Deco plant and recycling centres
  • investment "not yet defined" in a Dumfries Zero Waste Park and transfer stations in Annan and Castle Douglas
  • funds required for the remediation of five closed landfill sites

It also warned that the estimated annual cost of the new system currently exceeded the funding available by about £654,000.

Image copyright Renewi
Image caption Investment will be needed at the Eco Deco plant

The Scottish government has indicated that the level of strategic waste funding it provides to the council will also need to be reviewed after the PFI deal ended.

If that resulted in a reduction of support then the council said its proposals would "require to be reconsidered".

"The development of the revised collection, treatment and disposal arrangements is very complex and there is the potential for existing cost estimates to be subject to change," added the report.

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