Update about recycling centres

 
From the City Council :
 
Dundee City Council is to expand its recycling service to residents by extending operating hours and accepting more waste materials.
 
From Monday 22nd June, residents will have to access Baldovie Household Waste Recycling Centre from 9am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on the weekends. The Riverside recycling centre will also expand hours to 9am to 5pm daily.
 
The facilities will begin accepting clothing & textiles, batteries, fluorescent tubes, oil, TV’s & monitors, soil and turf in addition to the previous materials, such as general waste, garden waste, wood, metals, rubble, fridges & freezers, and gas cylinders & bottles.
 
Additional vehicles will be granted access to the centres from Monday if they have the relevant permit. This will include vans, pick-ups, 8 to 11 seated mini-buses and vehicles with a single-axle trailer being accepted on site.
 
The revised service comes as the Council continues its recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The Household Waste Recycling Centres will maintain its strict guidelines and physical distancing at all times.
 
A number of rules must be followed in order to maintain a safe and controlled environment.
These include :
 
• Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or self-isolating should NOT visit any HWRC site;
• The number of cars on site will be strictly limited;
• No commercial vans or twin-axle trailers will be allowed;
• Individuals should only visit when necessary, avoid queues and consider revisiting when quieter;
• No business waste will be accepted;
• We will be unable to provide assistance on site so only load items you can unload yourself;
• No walk-in disposals of waste will be allowed;
• The two-metre physical distancing rule must be respected at all times.
 
Further guidance on the Household Waste Recycling Centres is available on the Dundee City Council website here.    


Residents are advised to check the website and social media channels before traveling, as rules are subject to change.

Temporary Traffic Order – Re-opening of Recycling Centres

In order to allow for the re-opening of civic amenity centres at Riverside and Baldovie this coming Monday, there will be some traffic/roads arrangements put in place – the temporary traffic order is as follows :
 
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating the re-opening of recycling centres.  The Order is expected to be in force for one month from 1 June 2020.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
 
The effect of the Order is to temporarily impose (1) a 30 mph speed limit on A85 Riverside Avenue from a point 500 metres or thereby west of its junction with Wright Avenue to a point 500 metres or thereby east of its junction with Wright Avenue, together with imposing a no waiting restriction on Wright Avenue itself from the junction with Riverside Avenue for its entire length; and (2) a no waiting restriction on both sides of Forties Road from the junction with Drumgeith Road to the south side of the junction with Piper Street and on both sides of Piper Street for its entire length.
 
If you have any queries, please contact the Network Management Team, City Development Department on 433275. 

Amazon vans concern tackled #dundeewestend

I have recently had complaints about the extent of white vans parked at various locations north of the Amazon site on Riverside Avenue – for example on Perth Road near to the Invercarse Hotel.
 
This is not a new problem in that I had complaints last year from Riverside Drive near Vernonholme and in Newhall Gardens.   At the time, the then Amazon Delivery Station Manager resolved matters.
 
I took this most recent series of concerns to the new Delivery Station Manager who responded very promptly and positively as follows :
 
“Thanks for letting me know about the issues our neighbours are having. I have already briefed the delivery companies with regards to not leaving vans out on the street. I drove through Perth Road and some of the adjacent roads … (around 03:00) to see the extend of vans being left- and have found 8-10 vans which look like they could belong to the one of our providers. 
 
I have sent an email to will brief  all delivery service companies again this morning to get these vans picked up by the hire company.
 
As for blocking the bus lanes and Perth Road in the morning, I can only assume that this is due to the drivers arriving early for work and not having space in the yard to park. We are working on securing perminant additional parking to ensure we have somewhere for drivers who arrive early to go. 
 
Again, I will brief the delivery service partners on ensuring they don’t block the road or public transport areas.
 
Please let me know if this continues. I will make sure we are monitoring it from our side as well.
 
Thanks again for raising your constituency members concerns. I’ll ensure we get this resolved.”

Action taken to tackle smell problem from Riverside composting site #dundeewestend

As reported recently in the Courier, over the summer, I again raised numerous residents’ complaints about the smell problem caused by the composting operation at the Riverside Civic Amenity site adjacent to Riverside Nature Park.
 
The problem appears to be particularly noticeable during shredding as part of the composting operation and the wind changes direction.   
 
Staff attempt to ensure the operation happens only when the wind is to the south, away from the residential housing along the western part of Perth Road and in adjacent streets like Riverside Place, Millbay Terrace and Gardens, Clovis Duveau Drive, Millhall Crescent, River Crescent and Newhall Gardens.    
 
However, the complaints about the smell issue have been numerous in the latter part of the summer in particular.
 
Last Friday, I had a very productive meeting with a member of environment management of the City Council to discuss the issues and attempt to ensure the situation is much improved going forward.    
 
I am pleased to note that the council is now finalising an Odour Management Plan for Riverside that I went through with environment management at the meeting.     This is helpful as I am adamant that residents should not have to endure this smell issue and it is welcome that the council is taking proper steps to tackle this problem.

Action taken to cut smell problem from Riverside composting site

In the past few years, I have received numerous complaints from residents who live to the immediate north of the Riverside recycling centre and composting operation about the extent of the bad smell coming from the operation from time to time.
 
I have raised these concerns on numerous occasions with the City Council’s environment staff and undertook a site visit at their request to see the composting operation.   The council promised an environmental audit  to hopefully tackle the issue to minimise any further smell issues and I have received the following update from the City Council in the past few days :

Just an update to let you know that we had our PAS 100 audit of the 14 week process a few weeks ago and we shall shortly receive our new accreditation. 

Site staff have been making PAS 100 compliant 14 week compost for some weeks now and all material through the site will be made to this standard. We aren’t able to dispatch this until we receive our certification. The 26 week process will be rendered obsolete.

We have generally found we now only require to turn windrows once during sanitisation and once during stabilisation.  Previously we would have turned windrows twice/three times during both sanitisation and stabilisation and once during maturation. This has reduced the need for turning from 6/7 turns down to 1/2.

Furthermore we have also been trialling shredding more frequently to avoid waste sitting longer on site than required. Again this has proven successful. 
We continue to have our annual bio-aerosol survey carried out and look at our control measures that we have in place. We received our latest report last month.

Finally we received our results of SEPA’s compliance scheme for each of our licensed waste management sites relating to environmental performance for 2016. As our regulator this information is made publicly available on SEPA’s website.  I am pleased to report that all waste management sites including Riverside once again have been rated excellent (SEPA assess the licence holder as fully compliant with the licence conditions).

I hope this re-enforces our efforts to minimise any environmental issues from the site.

I am hoping that this marks a real improvement in the situation going forward although I would ask residents to contact me should they have any issues regarding any smell nuisance from the site in the coming months.

Riverside composting operation – an action plan

As residents are aware, I recently undertook a visit to the composting operation at the Riverside Civic Amenity site, following complaints from residents to the north of the site last year about bad odours emanating from the area.    
 
I have now been given a useful update on the actions the City Council is taking to hopefully ensure the issue is not repeated this year – as follows:
 
“… following on from our site visit we have had an on site visit from a technical consultant from the accreditation body regarding our composting process.   Following that meeting we are proposing the following actions to our standard operating procedures:
 
1 – Reducing the composting process from 26 weeks to either 14 or 16 weeks;
2 – Reducing windrow turning from 5-7 turns down to 3-5 turns. (less agitation of material);
3 – Increasing frequency of shredding to reduce the amount of time green waste sits at the green waste reception area (less time to decompose and begin composting); and
4 – Only screening 0-20ml compost, 0-10ml compost will no longer be produced (less screening)
 
All of the above are subject to our windrows passing the validation tests at either 14 or 16 weeks for:
 
– Pathogens;
– Potentially toxic elements;
– Stability/maturity;
– Physical contaminants and stones;
– Plant response; and
– Weed seeds and propagulesas.
 
We shall be taking samples in the next few weeks once existing windrows have matured to the 14 and 16 week age.    These will be tested by an approved lab. If we can meet the minimum thresholds in the tests we will re-validate the whole process with the accreditation body at either 14 or 16 weeks.   We are quite confident this will be achievable.   This should hopefully assist in minimising any odours migrating off site.”

Riverside composting operation – site visit

Last summer and autumn, on behalf of local residents, I again raised the problem of bad odours emanating from the composting operation at the Riverside Civic Amenity site and impacting on households to the immediate north of Riverside Avenue, mainly around the western end of Perth Road and adjacent streets.
 
At the time, the Environment Director agreed that the council’s corporate Health and Safety team review the existing arrangements and working practices.
 
Yesterday, I undertook a site visit to the composting operation to see what steps are being taken to tackle the smell issue – the Corporate Health and Safety team review is not yet complete (and I will be advised in due course of all the recommendations and actions) but meantime, the department is looking at ways of speeding up the windrows-turning process which would assist addressing the smell problem, which is welcome.
 
Here’s a couple of photos from my site visit today :
Garden waste awaiting the composting process
Windrows, as part of the composting process

Path – Perth Road to Riverside Avenue

North end of the path
Residents have raised with me the fact that the pathway running down from Perth Road to Riverside Avenue (runs behind the west side of River Crescent and the east side of Riverside Place) is overgrown.    The path is well-used – a main route on foot from Perth Road to Riverside Nature Park. 
 
I contacted the Environment Department of Dundee City Council regarding this and have been advised as follows:
 
” … the Network Team has recently upgraded this path.   During this time we were unable to gain access.   Now that this section is complete, we are hoping (if weather allows us) to get in there to start bringing this area back to standard.
 
(With regard to) the long term solution … I have a few thoughts and this will be carried out between January -March.   Again this will depend on the weather.”

New Pedestrian Crossing welcomed – Riverside Avenue

Following the reduction of the speed limit on Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue some time ago, the possibility of having pedestrian crossings on these busy roads became possible and the City Council has provided three new crossings on Riverside Drive.
 
I have long argued that one on Riverside Avenue to cover access to Riverside Nature Park would be a boon so it is great to see work on delivering this now taking place – see below :

Getting things done – Riverside Avenue

Four years ago, I highlighted complaints from constituents about the state of the ground on Dundee’s Technology Park at the entrance to the city, having received many concerns about the untidy state of the ground running along Riverside Avenue, just east of the Swallow Roundabout.   
 
As I said at the time, it is important that it is tidied as it is a prominent entrance to Dundee.   At the time, with assistance from City Council officers, the area was tidied.
 
Unfortunately, it was recently looking unsightly again – see photos from last week below :
The area above is not within the ownership of either the City Council or Scottish Enterprise (the latter own some other parts of the Techology Park grounds).   The City Council’s Director of City Development advised me at the end of last week :
 
“I am seeking to establish who the owner/s of the area of land in question is and will seek to pursue the proper maintenance of this area with them.”
 
However, meantime, I am extremely grateful to the council’s Environment Department who undertook a one-off cut of the area to ensure it looks better meantime.

Roadworks at Riverside Avenue/Drive today and next week

I highlighted earlier this week that the Riverside Avenue/Drive roundabout near to the Riverside Inn (pictured right) would be closed today (9am to 5pm) then overnight next week for four nights.   
 
Here is an update from the City Council about the work being undertaken :
 
“This will include a new road surface providing better skid resistance and new improved road markings to assist road users.
The road safety scheme on the roundabout will then be followed up by a road resurfacing scheme on Riverside Drive northbound towards the Botanic Garden.”

Temporary Traffic Order : Riverside Drive/Avenue roundabout

From the City Council :
 
THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 – SECTION 14(1)
 
THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of road safety improvement works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Riverside Drive / Riverside Avenue roundabout (including all approaches), Dundee.
 
This notice comes into effect on Sunday 17 May 2015 for one day (0900hrs to 1700hrs), then on Monday 18 May for 4 nights (1900hrs to 0600hrs).
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.   Access to Riverside Inn will be maintained.
 
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Perth Road / Hawkhill / West Marketgait / Riverside Drive.
 
For further information contact 433168.
 
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Lighting concern – Riverside Avenue to Perth Road

Residents have expressed concern that lights on the path under the rail line, between Perth Road and Riverside Avenue (that runs to opposite Wright Avenue), are not working.
 
There are six lights on this path of which only three are working.
 
This is a frequently used path and I have contacted the City Council’s Street Lighting Partnership seeking urgent repair.

Proposed crossing – Riverside Avenue

With two further pedestrian crossing recently installed on Riverside Drive (east of Barnetts Motors and also west of Tesco Riverside), constituents have asked if it is still the City Council’s intention to provide one further west on Riverside Avenue at the Riverside Nature Park entrance.

 
I sought an assurance from the Head of Transportation and was advised :
 
“The intention remains to provide a traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossing. This will likely be funded in future years by Cycling Walking and Safer Streets and /or Sustrans grant.
 
A strategy of measures is being followed, namely speed limit change to 40mph crossings at Magdalen Green, Seabraes connection, Barnetts,  Harris‎ Academy, Access to Riverside Nature Park, the underpass at Invergowrie and traffic signal control at Swallow Roundabout will give access to / from routes into the Western Gateway villages. Thus ensuring maximised permeability in terms of access to and from Waterfront for the West end (removing the road /rail barriers) 
 
The road space realllocation is also part of the strategy. 
 
In terms of at,Riverside Nature Park, probably FY16/17 or FY 17/18. However if match funding  opportunities arise we may be able to deliver earlier.”

Getting things done … Riverside Nature Park and Recycling Centre

Some weeks ago, constituents highlighted to me concerns about the lack of road markings at Wright Avenue (the entrance road to the Riverside Nature Park and the Recycling Centre) where the entrance to the recycling centre meets the main road to the Nature Park (to its left) and back to Riverside Avenue (to its right).
 
Given the significant vehicle movements going in and out of the recycling centre (including large council vehicles), the need for proper road markings was obvious and I asked the council to provide these.    As you can see (below) this work has since been carried out:
 

Riverside smell concerns

Last week, I received a number of complaints from residents who live to the immediate north of the Riverside recycling centre and composting operation about the extent of the bad smell coming from the operation.    As one resident put it last Thursday:
 
“I am appalled at the foul extremely offensive smell I was greeted with this morning on arriving home.
It was the same offensive smell that greeted me on opening the back door before 8am on Monday morning of this week. It is becoming so bad  am sure environmental health may agree it is detrimental to health.  I am finding even the washing I have put out comes in with the smell and I have to wash again (only when the smell is evident). This situation is intolerable and I hope this can be resolved not just for this year but for the future.”
 
A senior member of the City Council’s Environment Department has since updated me as follows:
 
” … the team on the compost site have been turning windrows this week, and it is likely there has been a smell as a result of this process. Although they check the airport windsock and will attempt to gear the operations around the wind direction, this can change quickly over the course of a day/week.   Unfortunately once the process starts they need to continue.   They are due to finish windrow turning tomorrow, so next week will be carrying out general maintenance on the site, followed by shredding and further windrow turning the week after, so the position will improve.    Unfortunately I can’t think of any changes we can take take to eradicate the smell, but do try to minimise it where possible.”
 
This response was also received last Thursday, so this week the situation should be much improved but I am keeping a close eye on the situation in the coming weeks.   Clearly the council has to take care (in terms of wind direction) before any windrow turning works take place.

Council must rethink Riverside recycling restrictions

As residents are aware, I have, over many weeks, been calling for Dundee City Council to rethink its decision to restrict what can and cannot be recycled at the Riverside Civic Amenity Centre.   
 
As reported in yesterday’s Courier, I have strongly backed concerns raised by West End Community Council Chair Andrew McBride about the city’s waste policy and recycling arrangements.    Andrew is spot on in his criticisms of the recycling arrangements.    The decision to restrict recycling at Riverside must be reviewed.   It is plain daft to have people having to drive right across the city to recycle certain items and the extra car journeys are clearly not environmentally friendly.
 
I have been in correspondence with the City Council’s Environment Department for weeks, calling for it to review the decision to restrict what can be recycled at both Riverside and Baldovie.   At Riverside, the council no longer accepts bulky items and it is now the only main site for garden refuse.     
 
In today’s Courier, I highlighted a recent complaint from a West End constituent who had wanted to recycle a relatively small amount of plastic from a broken toy pram and a 3-wheeler pedal bike.   The constituent, on arrival at the Riverside site, was told this could not be done at Riverside, despite it advertising that it takes plastics.   When I enquired on his behalf about this, I was advised by the council’s Waste Policy Manager:
 
“ … the acceptable household plastics are detailed on the side of the skip in question – these are normally what would be termed “packaging”, ie bottles, containers etc. 
Your constituent is right in that there isn’t another skip for the commodities mentioned – e.g. composite and dense plastics etc. This type of material is not recyclable here, and is classified as residual waste as a result. Obviously since the change in waste acceptance criteria at Riverside, there is no residual waste skip there, which necessitates an additional journey to Baldovie to dispose of such waste.”
 
There is no doubt that the recycling arrangements were now confusing and unhelpful for constituents and I now received dozens of complaints about the situation.   
 
The council claims that the very significant additional private car emissions will be “largely offset” by less council HGV emissions but I don’t think anyone seriously accepts this.     The number of private vehicle movements has significantly increased because people are having to drive right across the city with some recycling as their nearest site no longer accepts the recycling they have.
 
I also think it is a highly suspect way to encourage people to recycle by reducing their recycling options at the city’s civic amenity sites.   I would reiterate my view that if there are only two main civic amenity sites in a city of 145 000 people and these two sites are 9.3 miles apart, both sites should have the full facilities to avoid unnecessary private vehicle movements across the city.

Concern at yet another travellers’ encampment

As reported in last night’s Evening Telegraph, I have expressed concern at another travellers’ illegal encampment springing up on Tuesday, this time on land at the far west of Perth Road, understood to be owned by WL Gore Limited.
 
There are about dozen caravans are parked on the site, which sits on the north side of Perth Road immediately east of the end of the road at the junction with Riverside Avenue.
 
I have received several concerns from residents about another encampment springing up and I have been in touch with council officers about this to hopefully ensure there is a swift resolution.
 
I was interviewed on Wave 102 and Radio Tay News regarding the issue yesterday.   You can listen to the Radio Tay interview by clicking ‘play’ below:

Riverside recycling problems – an update

Further to my article yesterday about the on-going flooding issues at the Riverside Civic Amenity site (right), I have received the following update from the council’s Waste Services Manager:
 
“I would advise you that City Development have been working up proposals to resolve the flooding issue, and I received the draft plan outline last Thursday. The next step will be to arrange a meeting to finalise the proposals and costs associated with the work. Until the work commences, we are introducing interim measures should the site flood again. The site attendants will use the available pumps to remove the water on the site, and once they have this up and running, cars with green waste will be diverted towards the weighbridge to access the main composting site. An area adjacent to the recycling centre will be used to deposit green waste, and the site attendants will manage the traffic flow.”
 
Getting a proper and permanent resolution to the flooding problems is vital so I welcome progress towards this – I have asked for an update in terms of the timeframe in which the works to provide that finalised solution will be undertaken.
 
There also remains the nonsensical situation that of the city’s two remaining major recycling centres one (Riverside) won’t take bulky waste and the other (Baldovie) won’t take garden refuse.     The council’s rationale for this is that it cuts down the number of council HGVs transporting recycling to its processing site. However, it means hundreds and hundreds of extra private vehicle journeys going further to recycle – there are over 9 miles between Riverside and Baldovie.
 
I have now had the opportunity to look over the statistics the council gave me about vehicle emissions of vehicles between Baldovie and Riverside.     I understand the average car emits the equivalent of 132 g carbon dioxide / KM and therefore, using the council’s own statistics,11 cars equals one lorry in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.   So apart from the inconvenience for residents having to drive further to recycle, if it takes more than 11 cars to carry one lorry load of stuff then the carbon dioxide emissions go up not down.      Surely there are more than 11 vehicles having to travel across the city for each council HGV?    It is a point I have put to the council’s Environment Director.
 
Surely the obvious solution is to allow all types of recycling at both sites. 

About time the City Council gets a grip over recycling shambles

Following my receiving more complaints on Saturday that the Riverside recycling facility was unavailable first thing in the morning because of flooding, I have made clear to Dundee City Council that West End residents and other Dundee citizens are rather losing patience with the council’s failures over recycling facilities.
 
I have again raised complaints with the council’s Environment Director and asked for assurances that henceforth both civic amenity sites in the city will be fully operational during their advertised opening times.
 
When the council administration announced it was closing the Marchbanks Civic Amenity Centre, I sought assurances from the Environment Department that the Riverside site would be open at all advertised times as having only one main site in the west of the city means its vital Riverside is open for business.   
 
My main concern at that time was the regular flooding issues at the site and I received assurances that these were being tackled by the City Engineer.  
 
Saturday’s situation showed that the flooding situation has not been properly resolved and this comes on top of previous unavailability of the facility one Saturday last month due to the skips not being emptied.
 
One constituent told me that the pump being used to try to resolve the issue was thoroughly inadequate and he referred to it as King Canute trying to fight off the waves.    The constituent added the man behind him in the queue was hopping mad as he had tried the previous day to drop off garden waste at Baldovie and had been told to go to Riverside.   He had just driven 10 miles from his home in the east part of Broughty Ferry only to find the facility he had been told to go to was closed because of flooding.   
 
It really is a quite unacceptable situation and the council really does have to get the act together.

Concern regarding rubbish dumped at Riverside Business Park

As reported in yesterday’s Courier and on Wave 102 News, I have expressed great concern about the appalling state the Riverside Business Park site has been left in as the travellers moved on from there.
 
A City Council officer advised me on Friday:
 
“The travellers have now moved from Riverside Avenue next to the airport.  Unfortunately they have left the site in an appalling condition.   The Environment Department will be on-site this afternoon (Friday) to remove the loose rubbish & gas cylinders which are the main concerns for the airport.  They will be back on Monday with heavy lifting machinery to clear the rest of the site.  Unfortunately some of the travellers have now set up camp at the old General Accident call centre (about 10 caravans).”
 
I understand that the GA site agents are planning to serve legal notice on Monday.
 
I have been in touch with the City Council’s Head of Democratic and Legal Services about the legal situation and the mess that is being left at sites.    Clearly, Riverside Business Park is in private ownership so the clean-up cost should not be borne by the Council Tax payer but the bottom line for me if who dumps this huge amount of rubbish should be made to pay for clearing up the mess.
 
Leaving or dumping  a large amount of rubbish right next to an airport runway is nothing short of thoroughly irresponsible.
 
You can hear by interview on Wave 102 News by clicking ‘play’ below:

Update on travellers’ encampment next to airport

Further to my article on 11th April about the travellers’ encampment at Riverside Business Park, I have received concerns about the build-up of rubbish on the site – see photo (below) from the weekend:
Last Tuesday, I understand a change relative to management of the site took place, with a company from Ashford in Kent taking lease of the site.    The airport manager, the City Council and I have been in touch with the new leaseholder about ensuring that necessary legal steps are pursued promptly.
 
I have asked the City Council to have all rubbish removed.  I am very concerned about the safety issues caused by rubbish blowing across the airport runway.    
 
I have also been in touch with the Head of Democratic and Legal Services at the City Council about the need to see the legal process speeded up in such situations.

Another travellers’ encampment as occupation of site next to airport takes place

I have been on Wave 102 and Radio Tay news today expressing concern at yet another illegal travellers’ encampment springing up today, this time at the former Scottish Water site at the Riverside Business Park immediately west of Dundee Airport.    This site was previously occupied in August 2010 and again in July 2012 and there are concerns that another encampment will lead to  rubbish blowing over the airport runway.
Riverside Business Park earlier today
Being right next to the airport, the fact that the travellers have set up camp here is a concern given the mess that was left last time there was an occupation at this site.   Rubbish blowing across the airport runway has been a real worry on previous occasions.
 
Airport management is aware of the situation and anxious to see a swift resolution.    I have been in touch (as has airport management) with the former Scottish Water site management company (DTZ) asking that legal steps are being taken to get the matter swiftly resolved and they have confirmed this is the case.   I have also been in touch with City Council officers about the situation.
 
I have asked the council officer who liaises with the travelling community to emphasise the availability of a properly serviced site for the travelling community at Balmuir Wood near Tealing.   The council provides this site for the travelling community so there is no excuse for this sort of occupation of privately owned ground.
 
You can hear my comments on Wave 102 News by clicking ‘play’ below:

Riverside Civic Amenity Site

I was on Radio Tay and Wave 102 News yesterday pointing out that the City Council must get the act together in terms of sorting the current problems with recycling at Dundee’s remaining civic amenity sites.   This follows problems on Saturday at the Riverside Civic Amenity Centre where residents bringing recycling to the site first thing on Saturday morning found they joined a long queue of people unable to deposit recycling as the skips were full from the night before.
 
I received a number of complaints from constituents about the situation at Riverside on Saturday and raised their complaints with the council’s Environment Director.   I have asked for assurances that henceforth both civic amenity sites in the city will be fully operational during their advertised opening times.
 
When the council administration announced it was closing the Marchbanks Civic Amenity Centre, I sought assurances from the Environment Department that the Riverside site would be open at all advertised times as having only one main site in the west of the city means its vital Riverside is open for business.   My main concern at that time was the regular flooding issues at the site and I received assurances that these were being tackled by the City Engineer.
 
Saturday’s problem appears, however, to have been more about skips not being emptied or replaced at Riverside meaning that people were unable to deposit their recycling first thing on Saturday morning.    The council really does have to get its act together to ensure the facility is available for use during its advertised opening hours and I have sought that assurance from the Environment Director.
 
It is also important that the council reviews what can be recycled at its two remaining civic amenity sites at Baldovie and Riverside.    At present, residents cannot deposit rubble, bulky or mixed waste at Riverside or garden waste at Baldovie.    
 
If there are only two main sites left in the city following the Marchbanks closure, the two remaining sites must provide the full scope of services.   It is not reasonable to expect someone who lives in the east of the city to have to travel right across Dundee to Riverside to deposit garden waste.   Similarly, constituents in the West End have to drive right across the city to Baldovie to deposit bulky waste.    In terms of sustainability, that makes no sense whatsoever and the council must review this as a matter of urgency.
 
You can hear my interview on Radio Tay News by clicking ‘play’ below:

Getting things done – Riverside Drive/Avenue roundabout

On behalf of residents, I recently raised with the City Council’s Road Maintenance Partnership the state of the road surface at the Riverside Drive/Avenue roundabout, near to the Riverside Inn.
 
I have received the following response:
 
“There are currently no proposals to carry out resurfacing works at the Riverside Avenue/ Riverside Drive roundabout.   However the Road Maintenance Partnership inspector has raised an order for the repair of the potholes with a timescale for repair of twenty eight days or sooner. 
 
He will continue to monitor its condition during routine inspections and repair any actionable defects to ensure safety is maintained.”

New lower speed limit on Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue becomes reality

LCD temporary signage on Riverside Avenue
highlighting new speed limit
I have today welcomed the new lower 40 mph limit along Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue becoming reality late yesterday, with the last of the new speed limit signs being erected and the old 50 mph signs being taken down.
 
Due to the need to deploy staff onto winter maintenance tasks on Monday due to the inclement weather, the switch-over was about 24 hours behind schedule, but as of last night the whole stretch of road from Invergowrie to Tesco Riverside was now completely re-signed with the new limit, together with large LCD temporary signage (see right) to highlight the new lower speed limit.
 
Many residents have said that it would make sense for this part of Riverside Drive to have a lower speed limit.
 
Crucially, not only will it lower speeds, it will also allow for the possibility of future pedestrian crossings – for example at the playing fields and at Riverside Nature Park.   These would be a boon for pedestrians who currently have a real challenge trying to get across this very busy road.
 
The West End Community and Sports Hub has welcomed the speed limit reduction as a way of allowing a decent crossing at the Riverside Pavilion area which will allow a much safer crossing for people participating in sport on both sides of Riverside Drive.

Concern at Riverside civic amenity site flooding

As reported in today’s Courier and on Wave 102 news, I have expressed concern at another closure of the Riverside Civic Amenity and Recycling site due to flooding.    I have pointed out that this was an all-too frequent problem, given another recent closure over the festive period.   See photographs of the flooding yesterday – right and below.

You can listen to the Wave 102 interview with me on this subject at the bottom of this article.

A constituent contacted me yesterday to indicate:
“I went to dispose of some rubbish this morning to riverside recycling centre only to find yet again it’s flooded out. Normally not a major issue and I just go to Marchbanks but I realise part of the budget proposal is to close this site. 
 
“This would be a major concern as it’s a long way and environmentally unfriendly to drive all that way to Baldovie.   This leaves those in the west of the city with a lack of recycling facilities and may increase fly tipping which no one wishes to see.   
 
“Additionally the road servicing both the recycling centre and the nature park car park is in a shocking state of disrepair. I would urge that the council reconsider the closure of Marchbanks or upgrade the site and road at Riverside to reduce the significant number of occurrences that the site has been closed at short notice.”
The council’s Director of Environment has advised me:
 
“Appreciate the comments being made by your constituent and confirm that we have been in discussions with the City Engineer to identify a permanent solution to the ongoing drainage issue and also to consider any physical improvements that might be required to the infrastructure at Riverside to accommodate the proposed new arrangements.
With regard to the current closure, this has taken place following heavy overnight rain and it is hoped to have the site reopened later today.”
I welcome efforts to find a permanent solution to the drainage and flooding problems at the Riverside site.   Clearly if the SNP administration’s budget proposal to close Marchbanks goes through, Riverside will become the only main civic amenity centre for the west of the city, so it is vital that it is not regularly flooded that results in closure of the facility.
I am against using the Marchbanks site to spend millions on a new headquarters for the council’s Environment Department and intend moving a capital budget amendment at Thursday’s budget meeting to instead use this funding to improve schools and the state of Dundee’s roads.
 
Click ‘play’ below to listen to the Wave 102 news report:

Dundee West Park and Ride Public Exhibition

Last night, after my weekly ward surgery at Blackness Primary School, I attended the public exhibition about the Park and Ride proposals for a facility on land to the west of Wright Avenue, adjacent to Riverside Avenue.    The exhibition took place at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Nethergate.
 
Apart from plans and TACTRAN/City Council representatives there to answer residents’ questions, there was a ‘fly through’ visual demonstration – see right.
 
This proposal is at the planning pre-application stage and any comments received will be considered in advance of any full planning application being submitted.   Comments at the pre-application stage should be made no later than 22nd November to the City Engineers’ Division, Dundee City Council, Floor 6, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee, DD1 1LS.
 
An opportunity to make formal representations will also be available at the time a full planning application is submitted.