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Proposal for three-week household bin collection cycle in Aberdeenshire to be assessed

By Kyle Ritchie

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Aberdeenshire councillors are being asked to approve a change to household bin collections in the area which will see them move to a three-week cycle.

Under the new proposal homes will receive a new bin which will be for containers including food and drinks cans, cartons and plastic bottles.

This will separate them from paper and card which will still be disposed of in the existing blue-lidded bucket.

The cycle will see the non-recycable waste black bin collected one week; the paper and card blue-lidded bucket collected the next week and the new bin for containers collected on the third week.

The food waste caddy will remain on a weekly collection.

Councillors are being asked to approve a change to household bin collections in Aberdeenshire which will see them move to a three-week cycle.
Councillors are being asked to approve a change to household bin collections in Aberdeenshire which will see them move to a three-week cycle.

The local authority's infrastructure services committee will assess the proposal and the rest of the waste strategy at its meeting next Thursday.

The report from waste manager Ros Baxter that will go before councillors said: "A new 180L bin will be provided to allow the separation of containers from the paper and card recycling with food waste remaining on a weekly collection.

"Therefore, the new collection service will comprise: week one: Food waste (existing caddy) and non-recyclable waste (existing 240L bin). Week two: Food waste (existing caddy) and paper and card (existing blue lidded bin). Week three: Food waste (existing caddy) and containers - food and drinks cans, cartons, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays (new 180L bin).

"The new kerbside collection service is expected to divert 1249-6434 tonnes of material from disposal into recycling, increasing the council’s recycling rate from 44 per cent in 2019 to 45-49 per cent by 2023.

"The proposed kerbside waste collection service is fit to facilitate current and future Scottish and UK waste policy which includes the Scottish Household Recycling Charter, Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and reducing residual waste tonnage to Energy from Waste (EfW)."

It states that the information about the new service will be sent out to residents in May and June and will then be rolled out from August until June next year.

The report added: "The Scottish Government has now announced that the DRS will go live on August 16 2023 with the target of capturing 90 per cent collection rates by 2024.

"Once this has been implemented, this should see a large amount of the household container recycling stream removed from the council’s collected waste streams.

"At that time, the waste service will look to undertake a review of the collections of household containers, including glass, to consider the best option for service provision moving forward in line with any amendments to the Household Recycling Charter Code of Practice."

Aberdeenshire Council agreed to sign the Scottish Household Recycling Charter in August 2017. Part of this commitment requires the local authority to make changes to the bin collection service in order to align with the charter’s code of practice.

Funding of £3.4 million from the Recycling Improvement Fund (RIF) board, administered by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has enabled the council to implement this proposed new three-week kerbside collection cycle using the new bin.

The report said: "The estimated capital expenditure to roll-out the new kerbside service is £4 million. The funding application submitted to the RIF board was for 100 per cent of the capital costs, however, the funding offer received from ZWS does not include £145,345 for printing costs and £419,883 for temporary staffing costs to deliver the project.

"This one-off cost of £565,228 in total will require to be funded by the council. The overall funding offer from ZWS is £3,439,328.

"The estimated annual revenue savings are between £564,000 - £765,000 depending on the level of recycling achieved."

The local authority will also have annual capital costs of £132,000 and recurring capital costs of £170,000 every five years.

Councillor Colin Pike has raised concerns about the change to the three-week cycle.

He said in a statement online: "Despite my efforts to keep the bin collection and number of bins simple, next week’s meeting of the council’s infrastructure services committee will adopt these new changes.

"I can only imagine it will cause confusion and more contamination of bins by folk putting the wrong waste in their bins and getting their bins mixed up with the three-weekly cycle. Oh and what a dreadful waste of money, buying 122,000 plastic bins."

Meanwhile, the report also provides details about collecting garden waste.

It said: "To capture more garden waste and to provide householders with an easier option to recycle their garden waste an option may be to provide an opt-in chargeable garden waste kerbside collection service.

"Members should consider if they wish the service to investigate this option and return to committee at a later date with a business case detailing options as to how this service could be provided."

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