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August 3, 2010

Taking care of waste

Faced with a planning application for a large scale waste incinerator right in the heart of their town, the community of Invergordon fought hard to oppose it.  The campaign was a success and the application was refused both by Highland Council and on appeal, by the Scottish Government Reporter. But disposal of the town’s waste remains a problem and the residents have decided that this particular problem is their problem. Noone can accuse this community of NIMBYism

Marjo Hallowell

Last August a plan for a £43million waste incinerator in Invergordon lodged by Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) was rejected by Highland Council. In May the Scottish Government Reporter upheld an appeal against that decision.

Residents set up a protest group, Invergordon Incinerator No To Waste, to campaign against the project. But the group is now taking a new direction. They have formed a community company called Invergordon Community Action for Recycling and the Environment, or Icare.

Icare director Tina McCaffery said a core group of committed individuals had offered to be directors of the company and have set up the community company limited by guarantee.  The company is becoming a development trust.

Ms McCaffery said: “The reporter in his recommendation stated the community needed to ‘behave in a manner which will reduce, reuse and recycle’. We are doing this to prove Invergordon does not need an incinerator.

“Ross Estates Company, known locally as Balnagown Estates, has taken up the legal side of the appeal allowing the community the freedom to look at alternatives to waste management.

“Icare will develop and tackle the waste that is produced within the community.  For the past two years we have been encouraged by the support from within the community, and that support has not waned.

People here do not want an incinerator and are willing to take action to prevent that from happening.  We look forward to continuing the work started two years ago to create a clean, green, prosperous future.”

The community company will be looking at ways to collect waste from businesses and individuals and will also be investigating what they can do to minimise over-packaging of consumables.

They are looking for a suitable premises to set up their recycling resource park and are also looking to buy a van to collect waste. The official launch of Icare took place last Saturday at its offices in Harbour House, Hugh Miller Street, Invergordon, followed by a barbecue family day.