Council advises residents to dispose of waste responsibly during Covid-19 lockdown
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With recycling centres and seasonal garden waste collection points suspended due to coronavirus, Aberdeenshire Council is asking residents to follow Government guidance and manage their waste responsibly during this difficult time.
Unfortunately, it was necessary to close recycling centres on March 24 in line with Scottish Government’s advice.
The sites were closed to discourage non-essential travel and to focus resources on household waste collections.
Trips to recycling centres are not considered essential travel based on government guidelines, so in the interest of public health and safety sites will not re-open until it is safe to do so.
With many now in lockdown at home, some households may be producing more waste than usual and the closure of recycling centres is making that more of a challenge than normal.
Residents should not be tempted to burn their waste or resort to fly-tipping.
Residents and businesses should also be wary of unsolicited approaches from anybody offering to dispose of waste for a fee without checking the service is being provided by a licensed trader.
This includes offers made on social media.
The Council is unable to collect loose bags and rubbish alongside household bins. - all waste must be contained within bins, as handling bags and loose materials poses a direct health risk to bin crews.
If you’re struggling to cope with the amount of waste in your bins, below are some tips for maximising space:
- Recycle as much as you can. Materials that are accepted in your household recycling bin include: paper, card and cardboard; plastics (i.e. bottles, pots, tubs and trays); metals (i.e. tins, cans, aerosols and foil); and cartons (i.e. food and drink tetra-paks).
- Take advantage of your food caddy for all food waste. This includes tea bags and coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings, out-of-date food (i.e. meat and fish), plate scrapings and leftovers, etc.
- Compress your rubbish bags before putting them in your refuse bin. But please don’t be tempted to stand in your bins, as they’re tapered and your bags might get stuck and not empty into the lorry.
- Break down recyclable goods (i.e. cereal boxes) and squish air out of bottles and plastic containers (i.e. milk cartons and juice bottles). You can also stack plastic pots or slot items inside each other to create extra space.
- Avoid buying non-essential items or materials with excessive packaging, where possible.
- If you’re making online purchases, any resulting boxes, bubble wrap or plastic wrapping can be safely stored out of your bins until the lockdown is lifted.
- Glass bins are still being emptied, so take your glass with you to the supermarket when you go for your shop.
- Think twice before starting a clear out, as you may have to hold on to the waste until recycling centres reopen.
Waste manager at Aberdeenshire Council Ros Baxter said: “As the weather gets nicer, many residents are beginning to garden and tidy up their outdoor space.
“The most environmentally friendly option for managing garden waste is home composting – garden waste can even be composted in a heap, or in a compost bin if you already have one.
"There is plenty of information available online for composting at home and building your own compost bin.
“If you only produce grass cuttings, try mixing them with an equal amount of shredded cardboard.
"They can also be used for mulching flower beds and nourishing the soil beneath hedges and bushes.
“We also ask residents to refrain from burning garden waste.
"Garden bonfires are detrimental to local air quality, may impact your health and that of your neighbours, along with adversely affecting neighbours with smoke and odour.”
Head of roads, landscape, and waste services Philip McKay said: “We understand many householders rely on our services, including the recycling centres, but these temporary changes have been necessary to protect the core kerbside collections.
"Please know we are doing our best to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on communities, but unfortunately there will need to be compromises until the restrictions are lifted.
“I commend all the hardworking waste staff for their dedication and flexibility.
"I would also like to thank members of the public for their support, patience and cooperation during this difficult time.”
For a complete list of materials that are accepted in your household recycling bin: bit.ly/Recycling-A-Z
For information and advice on home-composting: www.recycleforscotland.com/reduce/home-composting
For ideas on how to build a home compost bin by reusing materials: www.diyncrafts.com/33618/home/gardening/35-cheap-easy-diy-compost-bins-can-build-weekend
For more information on changes to recycling and waste services during the Covid-19 outbreak visit: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/, follow Aberdeenshire Waste on Facebook for regular service updates or sign up for the myAberdeenshire app.