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Three bin system to be introduced in Aberdeenshire in early 2023

By Lewis McBlane

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The new plans mean residents will have to wait three weeks to have their landfill waste collected
The new plans mean residents will have to wait three weeks to have their landfill waste collected

New plans for three-weekly collections, starting in 2023 in Aberdeenshire will mean residents have less room for non-recyclable waste and more for recyclables, which the Council says will "better match the materials they throw away".

No plans to increase collections for garden waste or glass have been announced.

Cash to implement for the new timetable will come from the Recycling Improvement Fund, a £70 million Scottish Government scheme to support local authorities to improve recycling infrastructure.

Aberdeenshire Council is to receive £3.4 million from the fund.

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.”

The new recycling schedule is as follows:

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 and 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 and drinks cans, cartons, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, all using a new bin, plus food waste caddy)

The Council claims that more than 60 per cent of recyclable material is thrown away by Aberdeenshire households – with around 28 per cent of refuse bins currently made up of food waste.

Under the plans, up to 6000 tonnes are expected to be recycled, with the Council saving around £700,000 per year to be reinvested into Council services.

Chairman of the council’s infrastructure services committee councillor 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.”

A pilot scheme in an unnamed Aberdeenshire community could also be in the works later this year, prior to the full-scale roll-out.

The Council says they will employ extra staff to work alongside collections crews, who will be receiving training around the new scheme.

Community waste officers will also provide advice and guidance for any resident who may be unsure of the new operation alongside a widespread communications campaign.

Details of the new service will also be directly mailed to every household.

Vice-chair 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.”

Large families, those with medical needs or with babies in nappies can request additional refuse capacity but must "demonstrate that they use the recycling services available to them, including the food waste caddy", according to a Council spokesperson.

The council will be working with communities to provide suitable alternatives, such as smaller or shared bins or bag collections.

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