The latest in recycling

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Last week the council’s Zero Waste Western Isles team held a refresher training course for representatives from the Urgha  and Habost-Ness Community Recycling sites. As well as speakers from CnES, the local SEPA officer was in attendance to remind us of our legal obligations!

The Urgha site has now been open for business for two years. Since then, we’ve seen a number of initiatives to drive down the amount of waste that heads for the Benadrove landfill site. The council pays on an ever-increasing scale for each ton of waste sent to landfill. Ultimately the local council-tax payer picks this up.

The latest development in Harris is the extension of the “co-mingled” waste collections to Leverburgh. This introduces monthly doorstep collections of Glass and Can/Plastics/Paper/Card. The aim is to make it easier for households to segregate their waste and cut down the volumes in the “Non-recyclable” bins -which ends up in land-fill.

The Urgha site accepts all the usual domestic waste as well as nearly everything else the domestic household could wish to dispose of. Where does it all go?

Cans : Crushed and segregated into steel and aluminium for sale as scrap metal

Glass : Crushed and ground into Siar Glass which has successfully sold as a landscaping product

Metal inc white-goods : crushed for sale as scrap metal

Fridges and TVs : Carefully collected and shipped to the mainland to have the harmful chemicals removed

Plastic Bottles & Containers : Crushed for sale as scrap plastic

Newspaper & Card : Perhaps the biggest problem area. The biodigester will take some paper. Trials are underway with Hebrides Alpha to collect and bale card for sale to board manufacturers.

Furniture : Collected for resale by Bethesday Charity

Textiles inc Clothing : Collected for grading and reuse or recycle by Hebrides Alpha

Food/Garden – “Green” waste : Fed into the Biodigester at Creed Park to make compost. It has an insatiable appetite for grass cuttings, clippings, thinnings, left-overs, scraps and anything else you can get into your brown “organic” bin.

Green waste is shredded for the Biodigester


So apart from gas bottles and asbestos, we can accept nearly all other domestic waste. The council have just started charging for bulky uplifts of waste. Whether you’re in North or South Harris you can come and use the facilities at Urgha as an alternative.

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