New, cleaner and more efficient vehicles which will help to deliver improvements to recycling and waste collection arrangements have arrived in Aberdeenshire.
Changes are about to begin to the way recycling is collected across the area as part of efforts to improve the service and meet national recycling targets.
The vehicles enable the introduction of a food waste collection service and the ability to recycle an increased amount of materials at the kerbside.
The rollout is starting in north Aberdeenshire, in and around the Banff, Portsoy, Aberchirder and Turriff areas, in early November.
Other areas will have the new services introduced gradually, finishing in south Aberdeenshire in March 2015.
The council is buying 46 of the 26-tonne vehicles at £152,000 each, which have Mercedes chassis and bodies made by Heil in Dunfermline, Fife to accommodate the new collections.
Four smaller vehicles have also been bought to help recycling and waste teams access harder to reach areas, with particularly narrow streets for example.
These vehicles will replace the existing fleet, which has reached the end of its useful life. One type of vehicle will now do what three types previously did under the old arrangement: one type of vehicle was used for refuse, another for urban recycling and a third type for rural recycling.
This is expected to reduce vehicle maintenance and repair costs, as there is only one vehicle type to work on and need for a smaller range of parts.
Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee (ISC), Peter Argyle, said: “This new fleet enables the council to move away from recycling boxes and collect mixed recyclables all in one bin, as well as collecting food waste at the same time, an improved service for Aberdeenshire.
“This is more convenient for many householders, provides a multi material recycling service to rural residents for the first time and and also allows all Aberdeenshire residents to recycle a wider range of plastic materials.”
Vice-chair Alan Buchan said: “Residents have asked the council to recycle a wider range of plastics and we are pleased to be able to provide this service now.”