Aberdeenshire Council waste collection strategy release

By bellmannews / January 22, 2022
Aberdeenshire Council

Aberdeenshire Council awarded £3.4m to improve household waste collections and increase recycling.

Aberdeenshire Council has been awarded more than £3.4 million to help significantly increase recycling rates across the region and cut the volume of unnecessary waste going to landfill.

The funding is from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund. It means the Council will move to 3-weekly household collection cycle, which will see a new bin brought in.

• Week 1: Non-recyclable waste, sometimes referred to as your landfill bin, plus food waste (using existing grey bin and food waste caddy)
• Week 2: Paper & card plus food waste (using existing blue-lidded recycling bin plus food waste caddy)
• Week 3: New containers collection plus food waste (this will be food & drinks cans, cartons, plastic bottles, pots, tubs & trays, all using a new bin, plus food waste caddy)

A date for the start of the new weekly cycle and delivery of new bins has not yet been agreed.

At the meeting today, councillors unanimously voted in supported the new cycle, making clear we need to do something different to reduce our reliance on landfill and up recycling rates dramatically.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services heard today (Thurs, Jan 20) that this new cycle is expected to divert between 1,249 and 6,434 tonnes of material into recycling, increasing the council’s recycling rate from 44% in 2019 to 45-49% by 2023.

Estimated annual revenue savings to the council are anticipated to be in the region of £700,000.

Under the new strategy, all households will be provided with a new 180l bin for recycling of food and drink cans, cartons and plastics (bottles, pots, tubs and trays) and the existing blue-lid recycling bin for recycling of paper and card.

Councillors also welcomed a review of service provision for the collection of containers, including glass, within 12 months of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) being fully implemented and the full impact of the DRS has been realised.

They also instructed the director of Environment & Infrastructure Services to explore a business case to provide an opt-in chargeable garden waste collection service, with a report to be taken back to committee by June 2022.

While more than 70% of the material thrown away by households in Aberdeenshire is recyclable using the services already provided, in 2020 just 40.8% was recycled.

Residents can already recycle most of the packaging they bring back from supermarkets – including paper, card and cardboard, metal tins, cans, aerosols and foil, cartons, and plastic pots, tubs and trays.

But despite providing kerbside services and information on how to use them it’s not always enough – with around 28% of the contents of refuse bins being made up of food.

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “I very much welcome the significant funding support being provided by Zero Waste Scotland and look forward to the introduction of this new three-weekly cycle which will provide our communities with the opportunity to recycle far more. We understand that change to collections will take time to bed in, but we have every confidence that our residents will not only understand them but be surprised with just how much more they will begin to recycle.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “We all have a part to play regarding the reduction of waste. Councils are trying their hardest to offer services which push up recycling rates and make the most of recyclable materials. Officers have been able to come up with an alternative which keeps us moving in the right direction. If recycling services are used to their full potential most households should be able to cope and the use of the food waste bin means there should be no additional issues either.”

Waste manager Ros Baxter explains: “While our current system significantly increased recycling when it was first implemented, it is no longer fit for purpose, particularly in light of more household packaging now being recyclable and with even more expected to become recyclable in the near future.

“By providing residents with more recycling capacity and less non-recyclable capacity to better match the materials they throw away, it will encourage residents to recycle as much as they can. Keeping the service aligned with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter will also make the service fit for any future policy changes.”

From Aberdeenshire Council