Recycling unit pledge sparks mixed reaction in Jedburgh

Moves to bring a mobile recycling unit to Jedburgh have been branded a “slap in the face” of residents.

Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton at the town's bottle banks in the bus station car park.
Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton at the town's bottle banks in the bus station car park.

That’s the view of Jedburgh Community Council chairman Rory Stewart as he believes the town deserves its own dedicated recycling centre rather than a part-share in a communal one.

Scottish Borders Council has agreed to put aside funds in its budget to provide some form of mobile facility aimed at helping increase recycling rates in rural areas including Jedburgh.

Rory Stewart.

The local authority hopes it will help turn around its fortunes in terms of hitting the targets set out by the Scottish Government.

The plans will focus on areas more than a 20-minute journey from their nearest facility.

Mr Stewart says that the 4,000-strong population of Jedburgh deserves more, however.

“This is a slap in the face for the council tax-paying residents of Jedburgh,” he said.

“Councillor Scott Hamilton based his election campaign in 2017 on having a site built in Jedburgh, but it seems all we are to receive is a mobile recycling unit, ie, a refuse lorry or a skip.

“Jedburgh is the largest settlement in the Borders by a long way not to have a recycling site.

“Along the A7 corridor, around 15 miles, there are three community recycling centre. Surely these should have been more evenly spaced out at the very least.

“At the very best, all major settlements over a population of 3,000 should have the site that they deserve.”

Mr Hamilton however, has welcomed the investment.

He said: “The lack of recycling facilities in Jedburgh have long been a bone of contention. I know that the town will benefit from this immensely.

“Work on recycling targets is long overdue and has been my focus for the last two years.

“We all have a duty to protect the environment, and making recycling as easy as possible is an important part of this.

“In the coming months as these proposals are developed, I will be making sure that Jedburgh and district is well served.”

Mr Stewart added: “There was an indication that there could also be volunteer help with a mobile unit. I can say now that the community council will not support any volunteer man hours.

“Why should we pay our council tax and pay again through volunteering because the council won’t allow Jedburgh the site it deserves?”

In 2016, Scottish Borders Council recycled 37% of its waste and sent 59% to landfill, the national average being 45% for each.

A council spokesman added: “We are currently looking at options for a mobile recycling service, but this is at a very early stage. Once an option is identified, costs will need to be agreed.”

All Scottsih council’s must aim to recycle 70% of household waste by 2025,

John Lamont MP added: “After years of poor recycling rates under the previous administration, I am pleased the council is looking closely at how to encourage people in all parts of the Borders to recycle.

“Jedburgh has been in need of some recycling facilities of its own and these proposals which have come about thanks to the hard work of Councillor Hamilton, will most certainly help.”