Residents urged to band together and get a free community salt bag

Residents across Aberdeen were today encouraged to get a free community salt bag which they can use to treat icy roads and pavements in their neighbourhood.

The scheme is designed to help communities help themselves as winter starts, with colder temperatures forecast to hit the city next week.

And this year, award-winning smoked salmon producer John Ross Jr is donating more than 150tonnes of salt for the scheme which was used to produce its traditionally-prepared smoked salmon.

The move provides the City Council with ready access to a cleaner salt than previously used and means it no longer needs to buy salt for the community bags.

Aberdeen City Council transport and regeneration spokesman Councillor Ross Grant said: "We have a workforce of 90 to cover 24/7 operations and they do their best under winter conditions, often going above and beyond their duty.

"Of course we want to keep roads and open and residents safe but unfortunately our staff can't be everywhere around the city at all times - there are 560 miles of roads in Aberdeen, slightly more than the distance from the city to London, and there are 1,242 miles of pavements.

"We started the self-help community salt bags scheme several years ago, and it has become more and more popular with 80 bags delivered last year. I’d encourage many more communities to apply for the scheme this winter.

“We’d like to thank John Ross Jnr for its fantastic help in providing the salt this year as it will make a real difference to communities around the city.”

John Ross Jr chief executive officer Christopher Leigh explained donating the salt fitted with the company’s sustainability programme.

He said: “As a global exporter of smoked salmon, we use a considerable amount of salt, all of which is filtered and can be captured during the preparation process.

“Simply discarding it seemed incredibly wasteful and as part of our ongoing sustainability programme, which sees us continually try to identify ways in which to add value to the communities we operate in and serve, we felt that it could be reused in a much more effective way by those who live in and around the area.

“We’re delighted to be able to support Aberdeen City Council residents and the local environment.”

The one-tonne community salt bags, like the salt provided in grit bins, will be for use only on public areas. A secure and accessible area, like a driveway or garage, would have to be available for storing the one-tonne community salt bags.

John Ross Jr has also upcycled its 20 litre cream cheese tubs so people living in smaller properties such as tenement flats or apartments can also have access to free community salt.

Any groups which would like a one-tonne bag or the smaller tubs of salt for community use should email winter@aberdeencity.gov.uk or by phoning ACC's customer contact centre on 03000 200 292, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The community salt bags are delivered free of charge, are replaced as necessary, and are removed at the end of winter. The salt tubs are subject to availability.

More information about winter maintenance from Aberdeen City Council is available from www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/winter/


Pic caption, L to R: Cllr Ross Grant and John Ross Jnr's site director Gary Greenwood with the one-tonne community salt bags