Debate on waste charges increase

Charges for the collection of commercial waste from businesses in Aberdeenshire will rise for the coming year, if approved by councillors.

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee will be asked to approve the changes when they meet on Thursday.

This would allow the council to recover the cost of providing the service, which it is obliged to do.

The proposed changes are also aimed at giving businesses a financial incentive to think about how they deal with their waste, rather than send it to landfill.

The council’s Trade Waste Service is provided in two ways. One is a wheeled bin service where customers can have a selection of different sized bins for waste and recyclables.

The other is a skip service offered to larger waste producers for either disposal in landfill of mixed wastes or for cardboard recycling.

For a standard 240 litre (household sized) wheeled bin collected weekly, the annual increase for a waste bin amounts to £13.03 per annum and an increase of £8.98 per annum for a recycling bin.

The skip collection service has not been fully recovering its costs and charges would also be increased in order to do this.

It is proposed to increase the cost for trade waste skip collection and disposal from £144.01 to £218.33 per uplift, including Landfill Tax. Trade waste recycling skip collection would rise from £38.21 to £100.33 per uplift.

This skip service increase will only affect around 140 of the Council’s total of 4,000 trade waste customers, 50 of whom are the council’s own services.

Landfill Tax went up on April 1, 2013 from £64/tonne to £72/tonne and this increase is part of the reason for the increase in charges.

With the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 coming into force on January 1, 2014, all businesses will be required to separate certain waste streams for recycling.

Therefore, there is opportunity for businesses to save money on waste services by recycling more.

The council’s charges for a trade waste recycling service, if the new charges are approved, are 48% less than for a waste collection.

This means that as well as the environmental reasons for recycling, there are also good financial reasons to do it.

If councillors agree the proposals, the skip price increase will take effect from July 1, to give customers one month’s notice.

Other increases are effective from April 1, 2013