Changes to recycling services begin to help meet Zero Waste targets

Changes are about to begin to the way recycling is collected across Aberdeenshire as part of efforts to improve the service and meet national recycling targets.

A new system of co-mingled recycling is being phased in, meaning recyclable materials will be collected together in the same wheeled bin, replacing the blue and black boxes currently used.

This service will be rolled out to all residents in Aberdeenshire, meaning around 30,000 rural households will have mixed recycling collected for the first time.

Food waste will also be collected from all homes for the first time, following earlier trials.

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.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “By adopting the co-mingled option, the council can increase the range of materials it can collect at the kerbside, which in turn is expected to increase the rate of recycling to 45%.

“This will mean an improvement both to the service offered to householders, and to the amount of material the council can recycle.”

Materials which will be included in future collections, which are not currently picked up, will include brown cardboard and other plastic packaging.

The changes mean that each household will have two wheeled bins, one for recyclable materials and the other for residual waste, and a smaller food waste container. Recycling and waste will be collected on alternate weeks, with food waste picked up each week.

ISC vice chair, Alan Buchan, said: “It is hoped this system will prove to be more convenient for residents who will be able to recycle more of their waste and not have to separate their recycling into separate containers.

“The new recycling scheme will not allow for the collection of glass, because of difficulties separating different colours of glass to a high enough standard. Residents will be encouraged to take their glass items to one of over 200 recycling points in Aberdeenshire.”

The changes were approved at a full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council in January, designed to help the council meet the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste targets.

The new system of collections will begin in early November 2013 in the north west of Aberdeenshire and the service will be brought in in seven phases, finishing in the Kincardine and Mearns area in 2015.

Information providing details of the new arrangements will be sent to all households shortly before each phase of the new service is rolled out. New recycling schemes are being introduced across Scotland to help local authorities meet new targets as laid out in the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012. Under the new rules, certain materials will soon be banned from landfill, such as biodegradable waste.

The new collection arrangements are expected to cost £18 million annually, just under £3 million more than the amount spent on waste and recycling collections in 2012/13.

There will be an extra £3.6 million in one-off costs for improvements to the depot infrastructure, necessary plant machinery and the purchase of extra bins.

Aberdeenshire Council has submitted bids to the Food Waste Collection Fund, created by Zero Waste Scotland, to help meet these costs.

The changes also mean that extra collection crew have been recruited to help deal with the extra workload.

This type of waste and recycling collection has already been adopted a number of the 32 local authorities in Scotland.

Waste management in Aberdeenshire has changed significantly since 2001 and will continue to change as the council introduces new and improved services to make it easier for people to recycle more material, in a way that suits them.

The council will continue to try and make recycling an every day behaviour for Aberdeenshire residents, businesses and visitors.

Extensive information on waste and recycling is also available on the council’s website: http://bit.ly/13y6PsB / www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste