COUNCILLORS have renewed calls for a recycling centre on Cumbrae as it looks to go carbon neutral by 2040.

The island was announced earlier this year as one of six chosen to be part of the Scottish Government’s Carbon Neutral Islands project.

Residents have been campaigning for a recycling centre for several years and the island’s elected members believe now is the time to make it a reality.

Councillor Todd Ferguson, who lives on Cumbrae, believes a couple of skips stationed on the island would make a huge difference - and help people during the cost of living crisis.

He said: “It is very expensive for islanders to go over to the mainland and up the Haylie Brae, which perhaps means not everything that could be recycled is being put in the proper place.

“The council have said they don’t have the money for a proper facility, but even several large bins would mean islanders have somewhere to put their bigger recyclable items.

“If the island is looking to go carbon neutral then a permanent recycling point must be introduced."

Councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for the islands, is heading up the carbon neutral steering group and believes an alternative swapping solution could be effective.

He explained: “Hopefully we can get some funding either through the council or through the Scottish Government, because it’s clear the recycling situation on the island needs improving.

“It is something we could do very quickly once we have the funding, and would make a huge difference to people's lives, as well as the environment.

“Down south one council created a system where on a given day people put things they didn’t want outside their house, then others could come and take anything they wanted.

“It’s a great way to recycle and reuse unwanted items and I believe it could work quite well on Cumbrae too.”

Councillor Ian Murdoch says although recycling bins would be beneficial, he thinks they would be open to abuse.

He said: “I have asked the council three separate times about a recycling centre and been told repeatedly there is not enough funding and it’s not logistically possible.

“If we were to get money from the Scottish Government to build a facility, what would we then do in the future when it needs upkeep or maintenance?

“Even the idea of skips have been rejected, because the fear is that people would come along and just dump anything in them.

“It’s vital we have recycling bins, but even if one person puts their fish and chip wrapper in the wrong place the whole bin is defunct.”