Plea to save our waste collection services

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Next month sees the proposed ending by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) of the temporary waste collection services at Kelso, Jedburgh, Newcastleton and Lauder.

These are popular local services, provided where people need and value them.

I fear that many people who currently use these facilities may simply not be aware that they are due to end in the next few weeks.

With no plans to provide suitable alternative permanent waste facilities, then residents will either be forced to pay the council for a special uplift service (£25 a time) or drive to a “local” recycling centre. Anyone who uses the facility at Kelso knows how popular it is, with many people prepared to queue to use it.

In the case of my local threatened Kelso service, this means a round trip to Galashiels of about 40 miles, with the associated extra traffic, congestion and CO2 emissions. The fuel costs will add (unnecessary) increased costs for the already hard-pressed Borders motorist just when SBC should be helping the local economy – not adding to its problems.

I fear some people will simply not bother with the time, effort and cost of visiting a “local” recycling centre, which is why we should expect to see an increase in fly-tipping in our beautiful Borders countryside.

So there we have it – the imminent loss of useful local services with a likely increased environmental impact and cost for Borderers.

I urge SBC to have a rapid rethink on this issue and reverse the decision to end these services.

If you believe these local facilities should be retained, then please let your voice be heard before it is too late by writing to SBC and your local councillors to highlight your concerns.

Andy Wright