North-east residents have been urged not to set fire to waste due to recycling centres being shut during the Covid-19 lockdown.
One of Aberdeenshire Council’s responses to the crisis was to cut back on non-essential services, which included the closure of household waste and recycling centres, although bins continue to be collected from properties as usual.
Now, it has urged members of the public not to set fire to waste and store it safely until the centres reopen, as an increasing number of complaints are being received since the country went into lockdown.
A statement from Aberdeenshire Council said: “Following the closure of our household recycling centres as part of our Covid-19 response, Aberdeenshire Council has seen an increase in the number of complaints regarding householders burning garden waste and compost.
“We would ask residents to refrain from burning such materials and store them safely until our HRCs can reopen.
“Garden bonfires, although not prohibited, are detrimental to local air quality, may impact on your health and that of your neighbours, along with adversely affecting neighbours with smoke and odour.
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“Persistent burning which affects neighbouring properties may be investigated and notice served to prohibit them under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
“We appreciate that now that spring has sprung, more of us are starting to mow our lawns – which leaves us with a bit of a dilemma as to how to dispose of the grass appropriately.”
Meanwhile, the local authority has suggested that while coronavirus is ongoing, people could try to make their own compost to create a positive way to get rid of garden waste, as it has stressed it does not want grass cuttings going in landfill bins in a bid to get rid of them.
Handy guides that can help residents create their own compost pile can be found online via the RSPB, while Zero Waste Scotland has also created a handy guide on home composting, which answers some frequently asked questions, such as what can be included.
It can be found online at https://bit.ly/3dUVVIv