The planned roll-out of recycling throughout Shetland will not be delayed by problems with the sorting shed at Gremista, with collections due to start next month in the north and west Mainland.
Shetland Islands Council environment and transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson said that all rubbish collected in the scheme would be recycled, as per legal obligations, but it would prove a much harder task for council staff.
He could not put a timescale on completion of work at the shed.
Mr Thomson said: “We hoped to have the shed ready in parallel with the roll-out of recycling. We have been able to meet the roll-out deadline, unfortunately the building in Lerwick needs specific changes that are outwith our control.
“In terms of how the recycling will be able to be dealt with, it is not going to be ideal but we will continue with the space we have in the sorting shed. If it had been ready, it would certainly have made life easier.”
The committee praised the efforts of staff in achieving and publicising the roll-out, which sees Shetland play catch up with the rest of Scotland: recycling rates in the isles are a miserly eight per cent – 37 per cent below the national average and the lowest in Scotland.
A report by waste management team leader Colin Bragg said: “Kerbside recycling in Shetland would increase the quantity of materials recycled from approximately 220 tonnes per year to 1150-1750 tonnes per annum.”
The committee heard that the council will be able to assist elderly or disabled people with their recycling arrangements and will adopt a “flexible” approach, making the service user friendly.