Aberdeenshire recycling collections are to change at an increased annual cost of around £3 million as the council bids to meet the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste targets and improve the collection service for residents. These new recycling collections will be rolled out to all residents in Aberdeenshire, meaning around 30,000 rural households will have mixed recycling collected for the first time.
The new system of co-mingled recycling means recyclable materials will be collected together in the same wheeled bin, replacing the blue and black boxes currently used. Under the new recycling system brown cardboard and other plastic packaging can be added to the recycling and food waste will also be collected from homes for the first time. Glass, which previously went in to the black recycling box, however will not be part of the new Aberdeenshire recycling collections scheme and will now need to be recycled by hand at recycling points.
The north of the shire will be the first to see the new recycling collection service with co-mingled recycling being rolled out in to Banff, Portsoy, Aberchirder and Turriff areas, in early November. The changes mean that each household will have two wheeled bins, one for recyclable materials and the other for residual waste, and a smaller food waste container. Recycling and waste will be collected on alternate weeks, with food waste picked up each week.
Peter Argyle, Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee said
By adopting the co-mingled option, the council can increase the range of materials it can collect at the kerbside, which in turn is expected to increase the rate of recycling to 45%. This will mean an improvement both to the service offered to householders, and to the amount of material the council can recycle.
The changes mean that extra collection crew have been recruited to help deal with the extra workload. The cost of the new Aberdeenshire recycling collections are expected to be around £18 million annually which is around £3 million more than the amount spent on waste and recycling collections in 2012/13. There will also be an extra £3.6 million in one-off costs for improvements to the depot infrastructure, necessary plant machinery and the purchase of extra bins. Aberdeenshire Council has submitted bids to the Food Waste Collection Fund, created by Zero Waste Scotland, to help meet these costs.
Alan S. Buchan Vice Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee said
It is hoped this system will prove to be more convenient for residents who will be able to recycle more of their waste and not have to separate their recycling into separate containers. The new recycling scheme will not allow for the collection of glass, because of difficulties separating different colours of glass to a high enough standard. Residents will be encouraged to take their glass items to one of over 200 recycling points in Aberdeenshire.
The changes to Aberdeenshire recycling collections will be brought in over seven phases, starting in north Aberdeenshire in November 2013, central Aberdeenshire from April – September 2014 and south Aberdeenshire from August 2014 – March 2015.