Councillor speaks out over recycling opening hours

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SNP councillor Brian Topping has spoken out about his disappointment at the impact the standardisation of operating hours for household waste and recycling centres has had in the town since its introduction last year.

The Fraserburgh centre, which along with other larger sites across the shire had previously differentiated between summer and winter hours, saw a cut in operating hours over the summer months with the introduction of standardisation at the end of November 2010.

Following complaints from constituents and staff who operate the Broch site, Cllr Topping raised the issues at the protected services and waste management department of Aberdeenshire Council.

Speaking to the Herald, Cllr Topping said: “Fraserburgh has one of the busiest recycling centres in the area and while people accept that savings have to be made, the operational hours in place do not currently meet the demand for the service.

“People have attended the centre with their waste only to find it closed, at other times there are horrendous queues of cars waiting to gain entry.

“Staff have advised me that some people have even left rubbish outside the centre. This is technically fly tipping and something that could lead those responsible being fined. It also results in staff having to clear away dumped bags before they can commence with their actual work which is to help individuals unload, keep runways clear and ensure the smooth running of the centre

“I have phoned the protected services and waste management department a number of times to speak to the head of service, and asked him to investigate the hours that are required at the Broch to meet the demand, although, these would have to be within the allocated hours available.

“When I first raised this issue, at least a month ago, Mr Robertson was on holiday but I was advised that there was scope for review of the opening hours at a local level.

“I could see for myself that the garden waste and household skips were being filled constantly and the staff that operate the Broch centre and the public were frustrated with the current operating hours.

“I asked if consultation could take place at a local level with the staff during Mr Robertson’s holidays, although I appreciated that the ultimate decision would have to wait until his return.

“On his return I phoned again and spoke to him, but am unaware whether or not consultation took place in his absence however I understand that the issue has been raised again.

“I am very disappointed at the length of time this issue is taking to be resolved.”

“While I understand that the Infrastructure and Services Committee agreed to standardise operating hours for the service, surely common sense should prevail and local needs should be taken into consideration.”

The decision to standardise operating hours of HWRC across Aberdeenshire was taken last October. In a report it was stated that the standard operating hours would have “little impact on the recycling effort as all areas have Recycling Points available at all times.”