Litter ruining Lochaber, rages councillor

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A senior Lochaber councillor has vented his fury over the amount of litter strewn along the verges of both the A82 and A830 trunk roads and says it is not just tourists who are to blame but local people as well.

Councillor Allan Henderson (Caol and Mallaig) told the Lochaber Times this week that the more he travelled on the A82, north and south, and the A830, the more he realised the mess being made of the countryside by discarded rubbish.

‘This mess and despoiling of the land is something that the council cannot be blamed for. It is as if some people have an irresistible urge to muck up the countryside,’ he said.

‘Schools do an excellent job educating our youngsters how to separate waste into usable recyclables and landfill waste, and generally youngsters understand the requirement to keep our planet clean for future generations.

‘As has been quoted often, we only borrow our planet from our children or even grandchildren.’

And Mr Henderson pointed out that people need to be aware that as from January 1, 2021, no municipal waste will be allowed to go to landfill in Scotland.

He continued: ‘I hear the argument that there are not enough bins but that is difficult to accept when a length of road from Fort Augustus to Inverness – on Loch Ness side – which was fortunate to get about 40 bins through a Zero Waste Scotland initiative, is still a tip, with waste littering the road all the way, except the villages of Invermorriston and Drumnadrochit.

‘The other argument is that it is the council’s job to keep the sides of main roads tidy and clean – that may be so – but why should it be unnecessarily exacerbated?’

And he said if council workers had to be redeployed to pick up litter, it meant they were not tackling other issues such as mending potholes, gully cleaning, maintaining footpaths and so on.

‘Ask yourself, is it fair to dump that fag end, sweet paper, plastic bottle or coffee container at an inappropriate site? We cannot blame tourists either as I am commenting on the state of our verges in winter.

‘It is obvious that enforcement and fines are not working, so let us try instead to reward ourselves with the comforting feeling that it is not me to blame.

‘Why not speak about the mess to your friends directly, or start campaigns to clean up our gorgeous countryside by using  social media sites, or by not depositing it in the first instance?

‘We do live in a beautiful part of the world, so please let us keep it that way.’