New system to be introduced at household recycling centres to tackle unlawful business waste

Aberdeenshire Council is introducing new measures at its household recycling centres from April to increase recycling as part of its new waste strategy for the region.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 6:00 am
The aim of the scheme is to move business waste away from recycling centres to create more space for new recyclable materials to improve services to householders.

The aim of the scheme is to move business waste away from recycling centres to create more space for new recyclable materials to improve services to householders.

Businesses will be asked to use the council’s waste transfer stations at Ellon, Macduff and Crow’s Nest, Banchory where they can pay by weight for their recycling and non-recyclable waste using chip and pin technology.

While most businesses pay the necessary fees to dispose of their waste and recycling responsibly, some business waste continues to be presented as household waste so it can be processed free of charge. To tackle this, the new scheme is one of the measures being introduced to prevent such abuse.

As much as 20% of the waste taken to recycling centres is thought to be business waste - disposal of which costs taxpayers up to £500,000 a year.

Under the measures – which is accessed via the online booking system - householders using commercial type vehicles to take materials to recycling centres such as vans, pick-ups, minibuses or small trailers will be limited to 24 visits during any given financial year. Towable horse trailers will have six visits per year.

Certain vehicles typically used by businesses will not be permitted at HRCs, specifically those over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, tippers, tractors, large trailers (over 8ft excluding the tow bar) and vehicles with twin wheels or more than four wheels.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “This new system is very welcome as it will allow us to make space for more recyclable materials at our recycling centres and improve services for householders. Most households will not be affected by the permitted slots at all as cars, estate cars, people carriers, MPVs, 4x4s and mobility adapted vehicles will continue to have the usual eight visits in four weeks to recycling centres.

“We are keen to minimise inconvenience to those householders who use commercial-type vehicles or small trailers to take materials to recycling centres. We firmly believe that the 24 visits per year will provide them with adequate scope for attending our centres, particularly to cover the grass-cutting season.”

Householders will no longer be able to use large trailers - those longer than 8ft excluding the tow bar - to take materials to recycling centres.

Small trailers can be towed with any non-commercial-type vehicle, but not with those commercial-type vehicles limited to 24 visits per year. Vans by nature are commercial-type vehicles so vans of any sort are limited to 24 visits per year, including camper vans, crew vans and car-derived vans.

Anyone wishing to use a hire van can do so by making a booking for a van and typing in ‘hire van’ instead of the registration number. They also need to show hire documentation with matching ID to a site attendant to gain access.

Materials accepted at the council’s Trade Waste Centres include cardboard, garden waste, rubble, soil, wood, plasterboard and non-recyclable waste. No pre-booking is required for dropping off business waste which is accepted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7.30am to 10.30am.

Information on the new limit system is available at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/recyclingcentrelimits