BUSINESSES and the public are being asked for their views about new ways to deal with trade waste in Inverness city centre.
Last month Highland Council’s Inverness area committee approved plans for a pilot project to change the way rubbish generated by shops and other businesses is managed in a large section of the Old Town.
Some businesses could be given smaller bins while others are provided with bags.
And even where larger trade waste bins are retained they could be taken off city streets through the creation of new communal bin stores.
A succession of surveys have seen the profusion of large bins identified as a major factor putting people off the city centre, either because they simply make the place look untidy or because, for others, they represent a hazard.
Similar schemes implemented in other UK cities including Edinburgh and Manchester have been credited with improving things there and Glasgow embarked on a similar pilot in June.
A draft policy for Inverness suggests that no trade waste containers would be allowed to be stored on-street outwith specific times.
Provost Helen Carmichael said: "The key objectives of the pilot are to reduce the number of trade waste containers on the streets and improve the look and feel of the city centre.
"It is also about reducing public safety issues by removing the tripping hazards which restrict access to visually impaired or disabled residents and visitors.
"We are keen for businesses to take part in the consultation and to give us their comments and feedback so council officials working on the project can fully evaluate the impact and benefits of the project in order to make recommendations to the Inverness city area committee on potentially rolling out the programme to other city centre locations."
A dedicated website has been set up to provide further information regarding the project and answers to frequently asked questions.
This can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/InvernessCityTradeWaste and also includes access to an online survey for people to give their views on the proposals.
The pilot project will encompass much of the Old Town on the Eastgate side of the High Street including Church Street, Union Street and Inglis Street along with Baron Taylor’s Street, Drummond Street and Lombard Street.
If successful it will be rolled out across the whole of the city centre.
The consultation period runs until Wednesday, November 1.
Once all responses to the survey are reviewed a finalised proposal will be put to the city committee at its meeting on Thursday, November 30.