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Hit by spring cleaning bug? Here’s some handy reminders.

Hit by spring cleaning bug? Here’s some handy reminders.
16 March 2021

Orkney Islands Council is issuing some reminders aimed at helping keep Orkney beautiful, and safe, as spring cleaning fever hits many households across the county – inside and out.

Strategic Policy and Projects Manager, Lorna Richardson, said: “We are entering the time of year when demand on our waste facilities typically spikes.

“But we’d ask everyone to remember that we do have ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in place at Household Waste and Recycling Centres.

“These include a limit on the number of vehicles allowed in at any one time, and a pause on black bag waste at some HWRCs - to aid social distancing and keep users and our staff safe.

“With these ongoing restrictions, we ask folk to consider re-using or re-gifting what you can, via charities and community buy-and-sell and free-to-collect social media pages, and to use their kerbside collection to dispose of items where practicable – this is the safest and most efficient way to handle waste.

“Try and plan any necessary trips to HWRCs to avoid expected busy times such as Saturdays – and be prepared for long queues and the possibility you may need to return later.”

To help spread out the demand during the busy spring cleaning period, the Council is asking householders planning on using its busy Garson and Hatston HWRCs to try to visit on their usual bin collection day, if at all possible. (For anyone whose bin day is a Monday, when Garson and Hatston are closed, our suggestion is to go on the Saturday instead).

For those bitten by the urge to spring clean outdoors, while out on walks and beach visits, the Council has some other brief reminders:

  • Remember its best to carry litter home and dispose of it there. Practice ‘Pick Up Three Pieces’ – this focuses on ‘small and often’ efforts by all of us to keep Orkney beautiful. Don’t forget a carry bag!
  • Please do not leave piles of collected rubbish beside public bins ‘for the Council to collect’ as that risks it becoming windblown.
  • Animal carcasses on the beach provide valuable energy for other wildlife - from scavenging seabirds to crabs - and should be left where they are. Note with the current Avian flu outbreak it’s not advisable to handle wild birds/carcasses.
  • And always, always pick up after your dog – and bin it properly. Failing to do so is against the law.

Chair of the Council’s Development and infrastructure Committee, which oversees the Council’s environmental health and waste, recycling and environmental cleansing services, Graham Sinclair, thanked the Orkney community for their ongoing efforts despite the changes and difficulties the pandemic has brought: “Without the support, cooperation and diligence of our community I’ve no doubt that Orkney’s landscape and scenery would have suffered immensely as a result of the pandemic. We’d thank everyone who continues to demonstrate pride in the county and is doing the right thing to keep Orkney beautiful and keep each other safe.”

A reminder of what you can currently take to each of our Household Waste and Recycling Centres is below:

Hatston and Garson HWRCs are currently accepting the following materials. Note the sites are currently not accepting plastic bottles – this is to help enable a safe site layout and to allow us to still keep skips for other materials not able to be collected at household kerbside collections.

  • Inert waste, such as stones, concrete, bricks and mortar, and sub soils.
  • Scrap metal.
  • Black bag waste.
  • Bulky household waste.
  • Garden waste.
  • Cardboard.
  • Electrical waste and electronic equipment.
  • Household and vehicle batteries.
  • Fluorescent tubes.
  • Waste lubricating oil.
  • Paper and thin card.
  • Metal cans.

St Margaret's Hope and Cursiter HWRCs are accepting the following recyclates – note these HWRCs are not accepting black bag waste:

  • Food and beverage cans, foils and aerosols.
  • Scrap metal.
  • Paper/thin card.
  • Glass bottles and jars.
  • Plastic bottles.
  • Cardboard.
  • Garden waste.
  • Waste electrical equipment.
  • Centres may need to close once or twice a day – for up to 30 minutes at a time – for skips to be changed over when full.


Bossack HWRC remains closed at this point in time.

Check for the latest information on our website.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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