New recycling regime to start in spring 2023

Aberdeenshire Council progresses Spring 2023 launch of enhanced household recycling service

Aberdeenshire Council continues to progress the introduction of its new household waste collection strategy by providing residents with more recycling capacity and reducing non-recyclable capacity to better match the materials they throw away.

The new service will assist residents to recycle as much as they can, helping to significantly increase recycling rates across the region and cut the volume of unnecessary waste going to landfill.

Moving to align the service with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter will also make the service fit for any future policy changes. The Scottish Household Recycling Charter aims to bring consistency to local authority recycling services and the quality of the materials collected.

Aberdeenshire Council welcomes £3.4 million in funding from the Recycling Improvement Fund, a £70 million Scottish Government fund to support local authorities to improve their recycling infrastructure. This money will progress our new 3 weekly collection schedule to be rolled out from Spring 2023 onwards, comprising of

  • Week 1: Non-recyclable waste, sometimes referred to as your landfill bin, plus food waste (using existing black/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)
New waste & recycling collections

Despite providing kerbside services and information on how to use them, more than 60% of recyclable material is thrown away by households in Aberdeenshire – with around 28% of the contents of refuse bins currently being made up of food waste.

The new cycle is expected to divert up to 6,000 tonnes of materials into recycling, with annual revenue savings for the council anticipated in the region of £700,000, which will be reinvested into Council services.

The council is also investigating the potential of running a pilot scheme of the planned service changes within an Aberdeenshire community later this year, prior to the full-scale roll-out.

Additional staff will be employed throughout the process to work alongside our collections crews who will be receiving training around the new scheme. Community Waste Officers will also continue to provide advice and guidance for any resident who may be unsure of the new operation.

There will be a widespread communications campaign in the lead up to the service changes, with media releases, social media content and information on our website. Details of the new service will also be directly mailed to every household.

Large families, those with medical needs or with babies in nappies can request additional refuse capacity, as long as they can demonstrate that they use the recycling services available to them, including the food waste caddy.

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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. Households can contact the Council to discuss specific requirements in relation to this service change once they have been notified directly of the changes coming to their area.

We would encourage residents to download the MyAberdeenshire mobile app and sign up for notifications to ensure they are kept up-to-date on any changes to their waste collection service. This will help to keep you right when the service changes go live with collection day reminders of when and what bins are due for collection and what goes in each bin type.

Ewan Wallace, Head of Environment and Sustainability at Aberdeenshire Council, said

The changes to the household recycling and waste collection services are being introduced to help increase the quantity and quality of recycling collected in Aberdeenshire and reduce the volume of unnecessary waste going to landfill whilst complying with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter Code of Practice.

Waste compositional analysis of the non-recyclable waste bins in Aberdeenshire have proven that over 60% of black bin waste could be recycled if sorted properly. By providing additional recycling capacity and reducing the collection frequency of the non-recyclable waste bin, this will encourage householders to maximise what can be recycled from their waste.

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr John Crawley, said

This is a really positive step that will give Aberdeenshire residents the means to recycle much more of their household waste, in turn, helping the area play its own crucial part in reaching Scotland’s ambitious climate targets. We know that Aberdeenshire households currently send to landfill a large fraction of what could be recycled, which is not only a burden on the environment, but also council spending that could be used elsewhere.

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added

Reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills is a responsibility we all must take on board, and we are therefore grateful to receive this funding support from Zero Waste Scotland which will help us help households boost their recycling contributions. Like previous changes to collections, we expect some degree of adjustment, however, we are confident residents will appreciate the need for change and experience its benefits in the future.

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