Council looks to open up more access to Fife’s recycling centres

Some of Fife’s household waste recycling centres may be opened up to pedestrians and cyclists as they continue to adjust to recent access changes, it has emerged.
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Councillors on the region’s environment and protective services sub committee heard it is too early to say what impact the removal of a controversial booking system in October has had on the Kingdom’s 11 recycling hubs, although the centres are said to be managing “okay” as we head into the busy festive period.

Pre-booking had been introduced due to Covid-19, but the requirement was removed for cars and mobility-adapted vehicles at all sites except Ladybank.

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Vans, trailers and pick-ups were also allowed to use all sites with a booking once a week.

More access could be given to Fife's recycling centres (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)More access could be given to Fife's recycling centres (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
More access could be given to Fife's recycling centres (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

With driver shortages still seriously impacting services, Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, said site usage and impacts of the recent changes will continue to be monitored.

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“It’s fairly early to say how successful the recent changes have been,” he told councillors in an update.

“A lot of concern has been raised about volumes entering the sites, and if more waste enters the sites than can be removed then there is a risk they may have to close until the excess is dealt with.

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“But although there have been times of queuing at certain locations, overall I’d say the recycling centres are working okay.”

Mr Gourlay confirmed work is advancing on the feasibility to open up access to some of the sites for pedestrians and cyclists, with risk assessments carried out in that respect.

He noted: “The challenge we have with this is that the majority of accesses are really just for vehicles, so it’s a case of creating new accesses - such as making new gates in existing fences - for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Each household recycling centre had individual risk assessments carried out to identify and plan for any site specific risks.”

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Committee convener Councillor Ross Vettraino stressed safety had to be of “paramount importance” if pedestrians and cyclists were to be granted entry.

Restrictions remain at Ladybank for the time being, where the booking system was retained for all vehicles.

A report will be brought back to committee in February.

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