THE Daleks are coming to a high street near you.
A total of 97 giant recycling bins will be installed in the centres of 22 towns and villages after Scottish Borders Council (SBC) won £32,000 of Government funding.
But the look and size of the 5ft by 3ft bins have been panned by community councillors in Selkirk, including a comparison with Doctor Who’s most famous enemy.
Four of the alien-looking units will be stationed in Selkirk, just two weeks after the Royal Burgh received £750,000 from Historic Scotland to refurbish its town centre.
Speaking at Monday’s meeting, Selkirk Community Council member Jim Gibson reacted: “We are trying to address the aesthetic value of the town and are then given these bins.
“The name Dalek comes to mind when I saw it. How can anyone design that? There are loads of designs on the internet which are much better than that.”
The town’s community council has told SBC the units are aesthetically unattractive, and asked the local authority that no footpaths should be obstructed.
Secretary Alistair Pattullo said: “It is a good idea but I can’t see this in the High Street. “There is not enough room.”
Community councillor Iain King, who is planning spokesman, said: “They are nearly 5ft high, 3ft wide and 3ft deep.
“They are going to be obstructing wheelchairs, prams and those who are short-sighted will walk into them.
“They will be an eyesore and if we are protecting the local environment this will not be a good way of going about it.”
Tommy Combe does not believe Selkirk needs the recycling bins. He added: “People who throw litter in the street will continue to do that. I think they are pretty pointless.” And Selkirk resident David Firth asked: “Are the council playing Big Brother by saying ‘You will like it [recycling] or lump it?’”
“We don’t need this in the town centre – we have enough bins.”
But SBC representative Gordon Edgar said the authority has to find a way of increasing its recycling.
It currently stands at 40 per cent of all rubbish, but SBC officials want to increase that to 50 per cent during 2013/14 to meet Scottish Government targets.
Councillor Edgar said: “This is a directive from the Scottish Government. It is a way of cutting down on landfill.
“We have targets to hit for recycling and if we don’t, we are fined.”
In a letter detailing the project to community councils, SBC neighbourhood area manager Craig Blackie wrote: “The council’s waste services team has applied for and been awarded funding from the Scottish Government to introduce on-street recycling bins into a number of town centres and parks across the Scottish Borders.
“Following the introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012, councils are required to seek further methods of reducing waste sent to landfill and increasing the capture of valuable recycling materials.
“These new bins aim to capture the types of recyclable materials that we all have in our possession when on the go, for example, drinks cans, plastic bottles, newspapers and food packaging, but which either end up being left on the street or placed in a litter bin.”
Mr Blackie added that SBC would be monitoring use of the bins.
While the new recycling units have been compared to the Daleks, the Wiltshire village of Aldbourne went one better last year when it installed a 5.5ft litter bin designed as one of the extraterrestrial mutants from the cult