20,000 Orange-lidded Bins at the Ready

By bellmannews / March 3, 2023

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team

A stock of more than 20,000 bins is primed for changes to recycling and waste collections that will roll out across Aberdeenshire this year.

This is the first set of stock deliveries that will ultimately service more than 120,000 households with a new kerbside collection strategy to increase recycling rates and cut unnecessary waste going to landfill.

A recent analysis of landfill bins in Aberdeenshire found that more than 66% of what households collectively send to landfill can be recycled, and around half of that can be recycled using the current bin collections from the kerbside. These are similar results to the analysis conducted back in 2017.

The Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan and Managing Waste Policy set out targets to recycle 70% of all waste and reduce the percentage of waste sent to landfill down to 5% by 2025.

New three week cycle of collections

To better match the materials typically passing through kerbside collections, every household will have one bin emptied each week on a new three-weekly cycle:

  • Week 1: the non-recyclable waste bin (240l), also known as the landfill or refuse bin
  • Week 2: the blue-lidded recycling bin (240l) will then be used for paper, card, and cardboard only
  • Week 3: the new orange-lidded bin (180l) is for tins, cans, foil, aerosols, food and drinks cartons as well as plastic bottles, pots, tubs, and trays.

The council’s A-to-Z waste guide has been updated to include the new orange-lid bins and shows what typical household items can go into each bin. It can be found via the myAberdeenshire app or on the council’s website: online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/AtoZ

The new three-weekly collection strategy will not change food waste and battery collections for households, which will continue to be collected on all weeks of the cycle. Food waste caddies and battery recycling bags can be collected for free from your local recycling centre or service point.

While the sequence of areas for the full rollout of the new collection cycle is still being finalised, Aberdeenshire residents can expect the first set of orange-lid bin deliveries to begin in April.

Aberdeenshire residents should be on the lookout for a teaser postcard direct to their homes indicating that the new service will soon roll out in their area. A letter and service booklet will follow with all the information residents need about when and how to use the three-weekly collection cycle.

Mindful that not everybody can accommodate an extra bin, the council will be working with communities to provide suitable alternatives, such as smaller or shared bins or bag collections. Equally, those who are excellent recyclers and have the space can request additional recycling bins for free if they need more capacity.

Large families, those with medical needs, or with two or more babies in nappies can apply for additional refuse capacity as long as they can demonstrate a thorough use of the recycling services available to them, including the food waste caddy.

For trade customers, mixed recycling will be split into two separate collections: one recycling bin for paper, card and cardboard; and a separate recycling bin for plastic bottles, plastic tubs, plastic pots, plastic cups, cans, tins, empty aerosol cans, drinks cartons, and clean foil.

To prepare for these changes, trade customers are encouraged to ensure their contact details are up to date with trade.waste@aberdeenshire.gov.uk so that they can receive more information on how the changes will affect them. They should also begin to consider how they will internally separate their waste for when the rollout progresses into their area.

Moving bin collections to the new three-weekly cycle aligns with the Charter for Household Recycling in Scotland and will also make the service fit for future policy changes. The charter seeks to create greater value from recycling by improving the quality of resources produced from waste streams and maximising the capture of recycling for local and national benefit.

In addition to the environmental benefits of the new collection cycle, the council could save up to £765,000 every year as result of segregating paper and carboard. Encouraging more recycling in this way reduces disposal costs, which have been increasing steadily over recent years. That resource could then be better spent on improving local services.

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Councillor John Crawley said: “The changes coming this year will help Aberdeenshire maximise the environmental and financial benefits of the waste it produces, which will save resources, divert money to other services, and improve our environment.

“Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to support each other in reducing our consumption of items that cannot be recycled, to reuse where we can, and to recycle as much and as well as possible.”

Vice-chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: “We are thankful for the funding support from the Scottish Government to help boost the quality and quantity of the region’s recycling. Like any change to collections, it will require some level of practice and adjustment to the new system.

“We are confident that residents across Aberdeenshire appreciate the need to recycle more and the many benefits that come from that, such as conserving energy, reducing pollution, and responsibly using the things we buy—and the materials they are made from—to their fullest potential.”

Environment & Infrastructure Services Director Alan Wood said: “We are grateful for the assistance of Cruden Bay residents who participated in the pilot programme for these changes. Your feedback and insight have been invaluable for this new collection system that will ultimately serve every household in Aberdeenshire.

“People across Aberdeenshire now have their own crucial part to play in reaching Scotland’s ambitious climate targets alongside council staff who are readying facilities to accept and manage the additional waste stream.”