To progress the new waste strategy in alignment with Scotland’s Charter for Household Recycling, Aberdeenshire Council welcomed £3.4 million in funding from the Scottish Government’s Recycling Improvement Fund.
There has been little change in recycling rates across Aberdeenshire in five years, meaning a shift needs to happen to help everyone play their part in reducing our impact on the environment.
To better match the materials typically passing through kerbside collections, every household will have one bin emptied each week on a new three-weekly cycle:
Week 1: the non-recyclable waste bin (240l), also known as the landfill or refuse bin
Week 2: the blue-lidded recycling bin (240l) will then be used for paper, card, and cardboard only
Week 3: the new orange-lidded bin (180l) is for tins, cans, foil, aerosols, food and drinks cartons as well as plastic bottles, pots, tubs, and trays.
The new three-weekly collection strategy will not change food waste and battery collections for households, which will continue to be collected on all weeks of the cycle. Food waste caddies and battery recycling bags can be collected for free from your local recycling centre or service point.
While the sequence of areas for the full rollout of the new collection cycle is still being finalised, residents can expect the first set of orange-lid bin deliveries to begin in April.
Residents should be on the lookout for a teaser postcard direct to their homes indicating that the new service will soon roll out in their area. A letter and service booklet will follow with all the information residents need about when and how to use the three-weekly collection cycle.
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. Those who are excellent recyclers and have the space can request additional recycling bins for free if they need more capacity.
Large families, those with medical needs, or with two or more babies in nappies can apply for additional refuse capacity as long as they can demonstrate a thorough use of the recycling services available to them, including the food waste caddy.
The council’s A-to-Z waste guide has been updated to include the new orange-lid bins and shows what typical household items can go into each bin. It can be found via the myAberdeenshire app or online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/AtoZ
For trade customers, mixed recycling will be split into two separate collections: one recycling bin for paper, card and cardboard; and a separate recycling bin for plastic bottles, plastic tubs, plastic pots, plastic cups, cans, tins, empty aerosol cans, drinks cartons, and clean foil.
To prepare for these changes, trade customers are encouraged to ensure their contact details are up to date with [email protected]
Moving bin collections to the new three-weekly cycle aligns with the Charter for Household Recycling in Scotland and will also make the service fit for future policy changes. The charter seeks to create greater value from recycling by improving the quality of resources produced from waste streams and maximising the capture of recycling for local and national benefit.
In addition to the environmental benefits of the new collection cycle, the council could save up to £765,000 every year as result of segregating paper and carboard. Encouraging more recycling in this way reduces disposal costs, which have been increasing steadily over recent years.
Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Councillor John Crawley said: “The changes coming this year will help Aberdeenshire maximise the environmental and financial benefits of the waste it produces, which will save resources, divert money to other services, and improve our environment.
“Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to support each other in reducing our consumption of items that cannot be recycled, to reuse where we can, and to recycle as much and as well as possible.”
Vice-chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: “We are thankful for the funding support from the Scottish Government to help boost the quality and quantity of the region’s recycling. Like any change to collections, it will require some level of practice and adjustment to the new system.
“We are confident that residents across Aberdeenshire appreciate the need to recycle more and the many benefits that come from that, such as conserving energy, reducing pollution, and responsibly using the things we buy—and the materials they are made from—to their fullest potential.”
Environment & Infrastructure Services Director Alan Wood said: “We are grateful for the assistance of Cruden Bay residents who participated in the pilot programme for these changes. Your feedback and insight have been invaluable for this new collection system that will ultimately serve every household in Aberdeenshire.
“People across Aberdeenshire now have their own crucial part to play in reaching Scotland’s ambitious climate targets alongside council staff who are readying facilities to accept and manage the additional waste stream.”