The first part of the March meeting will give an opportunity for a Journalist from the Falkirk Herald to interview members for the papers soap box article.
A general discussion will follow, and some updates on the plans for an environmental hustings which members are organising.


E-Petitions - Council Tax could be a Green Tax

On and off in the media there have been reports about the methods used for revalueing properties for council tax. It seems likely that any improvement will result in an increased valuating and increased council tax bills. At the moment this will probably include improvements intended to reduce carbon emissions such as solar panels, wind turbines, improvements in insulation, heat recovery systems. The nice people at CAT have set up a petition on the governments petition website.


Please read it, sign it if you feel strongly and pass this information on to anyone else you feel may be interested.

There is also a petition requesting more land to be set aside for allotments around the country, I guess this is devolved but there doesn't seem to be any harm in signing it. I know this issue is something that some members feel strongly about.



Probably a little more controversial but here's another petition of interest on planning issues for renewables.



February Meeting Report

After a short discussion on news, events in the coming months the meetings main focused turned to Robin Baird, Falkirk Councils Wast strategy co-ordinator.

Robin gave an interesting talk on Falkirk Councils residential waste management policy. This covered the current three bin system, some of reasons for the limitations on the recyclables collected and possible enhancements to the system in the future. Some of the financial and operational demands were explained, as was the reasons for the slow roll-out of the system across the council area. The key advantage of the simple and slow approach adopted by Falkirk is relatively low rates of contamination in the recyclable waste collected. The composting method used for the waste in the brown (compostable) bins was explained and some possible enhancements to this was discussed including the future possibility of collecting kitchen waste and using an in vessel composting system to produce clean safe compost from this waste further reducing landfill.
  • Currently 62,000 households are taking part in the system, this will reach 68,000 by the end of this month (March 2007).
  • 35% of the waste recovered by the council is recycled currently
  • only one of only six councils in Scotland to have won funding to extend recycling collection into flatted properties.
Some of the concerns expressed by the members included the lack of facilities at Roughmute, although the site has now been redeveloped to allow proper sorting of waste there is currently a shortage of labour to man it. A number of the members had experienced staff unwilling to direct them to separate waste, instead being encouraged to use the anything else waste pit.
Problem wastes such at tetra-pak containers, used batteries and fluorescent lamps were discussed although currently the council has no facilities to deal with them. The implications of the WEEE directive were also touched on. The issue of retail and small industrial waste disposal were also discussed although Mr Baird admitted that the council had very little control over this.

Falkirk Councils Waste Strategy