THE leader of Argyll and Bute Council says she's awaiting an update from Nicola Sturgeon on the prospect of reopening the country's waste and recycling facilities.

Councillor Aileen Morton was speaking during a Skype discussion on measures imposed to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

Helensburgh's own waste and recycling facility – or 'civic amenity site' – at Blackhill, on the northern edge of the town, has been closed, along with all similar facilities across Scotland, ever since lockdown restrictions took effect in March, after the government deemed visits to such sites non-essential.

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Uplifts of household recycling materials have also been put on hold throughout Argyll and Bute as the local authority concentrates on the delivery of the essential services it is legally required to provide.

General waste is being collected from homes in the area every two weeks, on the same dates as previously-scheduled recycling uplifts, and households have been asked to save their recyclable waste until the normal uplift schedule can resume.

Reports of fly-tipping have increased – in Helensburgh and across the country – since the restrictions came into effect, sparking calls for local authorities to reopen their sites – though they cannot do so unless and until the government's guidance changes.

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Household waste has reportedly been dumped at the recycling bins in the Helensburgh pier car park, and pictures have been posted on social media appearing to show evidence of fly tipping in Glen Fruin.

The subject of recycling uplifts was raised at a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council's emergency 'business continuity committee' on May 14.

Oban councillor Kieron Green said: "There is a comment in the paper about them being resumed, and waste recycling centres being resumed, when safe and sensible to do so.

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“I agree with that, but it is vague on whether there is a timescale. I am running out of space in my kitchen to store recycling.”

Council leader Aileen Morton responded: “Based on papers that are going to COSLA, I expect Nicola Sturgeon to make an announcement on the position regarding waste and recycling centres.

“We will then be able to update our local arrangements.”