Mobile recycling unit could be set to serve Jedburgh

Hawick community recycling centre, Mansfield Road
Hawick community recycling centre, Mansfield Road

Improved access to recycling facilities could be on the way for Jedburgh residents, albeit not in the form they’ve been hoping for.

Scottish Borders Council is looking at introducing a mobile service to cover the town, a move which would rule out any chance of townsfolk getting their own dedicated recycling centre.

The plan is due to be debated by councillors tomorrow.

With a budget outline for costs already agreed, it could be delivered this financial year if councillors agree.

Jedburgh is the largest town in the region without its own facility, so residents must travel to Hawick or Kelso to recycle waste, and Duns, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Peebles and Selkirk all have their own facilities too.

Townsfolk have been crying out for a centre for years, and even more so since councillor Scott Hamilton pledged to push the issue upon his election in 2017.

But last week he told the town’s community council: “Where we are is at a point where there is not the financial input to have a nirvana for recycling, but with community involvement there is some potential there still.”

His update came a week after the local authority announced changes to opening hours at its seven centres which will see each closed for at least one day a week.

Community councillor John Taylor said: “We are the third worst region in the whole of Scotland for recycling rates. It’s an appalling state to be in, and the council is going to tackle that by not only not giving us a recycling centre and by reducing opening hours at the existing ones.

“I cannot figure out how we are going to improve.

“Are we happy to just pay the fines for not hitting targets and leave it to the next generation to sort out?”

Councillor Jim Brown added that he hoped any plans put forward today do not rely on community involvement as there was little appetite last time around, he said.

“There is an amount of deja vu here,” he said. “We went down that route in 2015, when it was suggested we have skips in the town run by volunteers.

“The community council was not for it then.

“Let’s hope that something better than that comes up on Thursday that everyone can agree on.

“If that’s the case, I will support you all the way.”