THE council’s leader has appealed for more of Helensburgh and Lomond to recycle more of its rubbish after it was found to be behind the area average.

Aileen Morton was speaking after a scorecard at last week’s area committee meeting revealed that 42.4 per cent of waste in the area over the last three months was recycled, composted or recovered.

This is compared to a figure of 45.3 per cent for the final three months of 2017/18, and an Argyll and Bute-wide average of 48.8 per cent – which is up on the previous period.

It also comes despite the fact that Helensburgh and Lomond is the only ward in Argyll and Bute to have food waste bins.

Ms Morton said: “It is a substantial question for the area committee.

“I just think it is really disappointing to see that Helensburgh and Lomond is below the average for Argyll and Bute.

“This is particularly so when the area has food waste bins and the rest of Argyll and Bute does not.

“Can we try to work out why that is and what can be done to help more people use their recycle bins?

“It comes at an enormous cost to the council at a time when it is trying to avoid biodegradable waste.”

Helensburgh and Lomond, though, does not have the lowest percentage of recycled rubbish for the first quarter of 2018/19 in Argyll and Bute.

Scorecards for other area committees show that only 27 per cent of waste on the area’s islands has been recycled over the same period.

However, Shanks Ltd, which is based in Lochgilphead and covers a wider area, reported a recycling uptake of 54.3 per cent.

Area committee chair Ellen Morton said: “If members would be interest in obtaining a briefing note from Tom Murphy (council customer services manager) I can certainly arrange it.

“If there is an issue then it needs to be resolved.”

The committee members agreed to receive the report from Mr Murphy, with area committee manager Shona Barton to facilitate.

Meanwhile, the same scorecard revealed that the number of street lighting faults repaired within 10 days has dropped by 10 per cent on the last three months.

The figure of 52 per cent for Helensburgh and Lomond in the final quarter of 2017/18 has fallen to 42 per cent.

However, that is higher than the area total of 41 per cent, which has plummeted from 58 per cent.

In relation to the Helensburgh and Lomond deficit, the scorecard says: “Some service redesign/changes in personnel took place in April 2018. This and sickness absence had a detrimental effect on the service.

“Things have improved over the quarter as new staff became more familiar with processes and systems.”