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Polystyrene recycling now offered at nine locations in Aberdeenshire

By David Porter

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Following the success of Aberdeenshire Council’s polystyrene recycling pilot at three Household Recycling Centres (HRCs), the service has now been expanded to include six additional sites.

In February 2020, the council signed a contract with Styropack for a pilot programme of polystyrene recycling, which was introduced on a trial-basis in Banchory, Portlethen and Stonehaven.

By November 2021, 6802 tonnes of polystyrene had been collected since the start of the pilot, leading the council to extend the service to the following HRCs: Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Ellon, Inverurie, Westhill and Alford.

Bins designated for polystyrene are now in place at all nine facilities.

Styropack also hosts a collection point outside their Craigshaw Road depot in Aberdeen’s West Tullos Industrial Estate.

The recycling centres currently accept Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which includes all polystyrene packing materials such as shape-moulded packaging, blocks and planks of fill materials, packing boxes and packaging balls.

Centres will not accept any polystyrene containers contaminated with food, takeaway packaging, biodegradable or compostable packing chips, or Styrofoam cups. Residents are also advised to break up any large pieces of polystyrene before visiting a recycling centre.

Styropack’s Aberdeen location actively recycles polystyrene into new packaging and is the leading supplier of polystyrene boxes to the fish processing and food industry in North-East Scotland.

Ros Baxter, Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, said: “We are delighted with the success of the polystyrene recycling programme so far.

"The volume of material brought to HRCs demonstrates a clear need for polystyrene recycling in Aberdeenshire, and we are pleased to be expanding this service into more locations.”

Councillor Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “The polystyrene recycling pilot has achieved remarkable success over the past two years, despite the limitations that Covid-19 presented.

"The expansion of this service into more sites is a positive step towards improving the council’s recycling rate and further diverting waste from landfill.”

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