The new Zero Waste Bute project is an ideal model for a rethink on waste management across the whole of Argyll and Bute, according to one MSP.
Independent Highlands and Islands ‘list’ member John Finnie says the principles employed by Zero Waste Bute should form the basis of a “fundamental change” in the local council’s approach to the issue.
The Zero Waste Bute project, which went live in September and was officially launched last month, will see Rothesay-based social enterprise Fyne Futures receive £200,000 in government funding to increase recycling and reuse and to cut down on the waste produced on the island over the next two years.
But Fyne Futures’ current partnership with the council - on whose behalf it operates recycling services on Bute - is one of the suggested savings options in the council’s hugely controversial ‘Service Choices’ programme.
Mr Finnie said: “I’m so pleased for Fyne Futures on the successful launch of their Zero Waste Bute project. Their ambition for a zero-waste island, driven by real community involvement, is a model for the whole of Argyll and Bute.
“Argyll and Bute has the sixth-worst recycling rate in Scotland. The Council’s proposal to cut bin collections while doing nothing to provide better alternatives, and threatening cuts to programmes like Zero Waste Bute is not an acceptable waste management strategy.
“The Scottish Government’s new Household Recycling Charter, which I hope Argyll and Bute will sign up to, should make recycling easier and is an opportunity to go right back to the drawing board for a fresh approach to waste.
“We need a fundamental re-think of how we handle waste in Argyll and Bute. That means a complete new strategy that prioritises waste reduction, reuse and recycling, seeks opportunities to create rather than cut jobs, and integrates the contribution of third-sector projects like Zero Waste Bute.”