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Council to eradicate single use plastics in Moray's canteens

By Staff Reporter

SINGLE-use plastic disposables in Moray's school canteens are to be eliminated, it was announced this morning.

Work is already underway and it is hoped usage will be cut by 90 per cent by next April and completely eliminated by August.

The initiative forms part of a new three-year Service Plan for the authority's environmental and commercial services team, which comprises roads maintenance, environmental protection, transportation and consultancy.

Single use plastics are to be eliminated in Moray's school canteens.
Single use plastics are to be eliminated in Moray's school canteens.

With a staff force of 635.5 full time equivalent members, the environmental and commercial services department has an annual capital budget for 2019/20 of £30.1 million and revenue budget of £21.7 million.

It is responsible for 21 functions, ranging from winter maintenance and flood risk management to the provision of school meals.

Under the plan, a major priority remains the delivery of the the Joint Energy from Waste project with Aberdeeshire and Aberdeen City Councils – designed to ensure a long term and sustainable approach to waste management.

It should be ready for testing in late 2021 and operations are due to get underway in September 2022.

Elsewhere, the number of priority one gritting routes will be reduced to create a more efficient network while delivering financial savings.

Head of environment and commercial services Stephen Cooper said: "In preparing the plan managers have taken into account council priorities, budget pressures, risk, self-evaluation, customer feedback, staff engagement, and other relevant documents.

"Through the Service Plan Improvements, the service explore different ways of delivering services more efficiently and effectively, whilst facing tough challenges of declining budgets and demands for the services."

Other strategic priorities include the installation of vehicle fuel telematics systems across the fleet, which should lead to 7 per cent fuel savings.

Completing and promoting the Sustainable Travel Hub in Speyside is another major priority, while a flood protection scheme at Lossiemouth's Seatown will also be developed along with surface water management plans.

Other projects include finishing the integrated waste management facility at Moycroft in Elgin by the end of January, while the lifespan of Dallachy Landfill site will be increased to coincide with the opening of Joint Energy to Waste Project,

The number of priority one gritting routes will be reduced from 17 to 13 to improve the efficiency of the winter gritting network, while measures to improve the delivery of capital projects, such as the Craigellachie Bridge refurbishment and Portknockie landslip repairs, will also be brought in.

The Service Plan was given the unanimous backing of the authority's economic development and infrastructure services committee during a meeting this morning.

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