As part of Aberdeenshire’s shift towards greater recycling rates and sending less materials to landfill, tyres and asbestos will no longer be accepted at any of the area’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) from Monday, June 3.
The change, which also applies to four of the council’s waste transfer stations, is expected to save around £50,000 a year and have minimal impact on householders.
The money saved will be used to employ extra staff at recycling centres, who will advise customers how best to dispose of materials, helping to increase recycling rates and reduce disposal costs.
Tyres are not classed as household waste and the council has no legal responsibility to deal with them – anyone buying new tyres can pay for disposal of the old ones at the same time.
Although one of the lowest tonnages of any materials handled at HWRCs, tyres are one of the most expensive to dispose of. With very limited options to recycle or reuse them, they are currently sent to a cement kiln for use as fuel, at a cost to the council.
Asbestos, only currently accepted by the council at four sites under limited circumstances, is currently sent to a specialist landfill site for disposal at significant cost.
Although tyres and asbestos together only account for less than 0.5% of the waste handled by the council each year, neither method of dealing with these materials is classed as recycling.
Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “We know a very small number of Aberdeenshire residents bring tyres or asbestos to the council for disposal. This service is an expensive one to provide and only benefits a few residents.
“Neither of these materials contribute to the council’s recycling rate, but they do cost significant amounts of money to deal with and take up space at the facilities where they are collected.
“Requiring the person or company which generates this type of waste to ensure it is disposed of correctly at their expense not only saves the council money which is being reinvested in better services, it also frees up space for the recycling of other materials in future.
“Many tyre retailers offer a disposal service for old tyres for a small fee and vehicle users should make use of this service where possible, as most people do.
“There are commercial companies who will accept asbestos waste for disposal at two licensed landfill sites for a fee and anyone disposing of this material is advised to contact them.”
Signs will be in place at facilities which have accepted the materials in the past advising of the change. Information on alternative disposal will also be available at HWRCs, service points and libraries.
While the facility to recycle these materials is being removed, the council continues to offer recycling for more than 20 different materials at HWRCs and is constantly seeking to expand this number, providing better services to Aberdeenshire residents, recycling more, protecting the environment and saving the council money on waste disposal.
Clearly some people may consider disposing of their tyre or asbestos waste by illegally fly-tipping it, but if you see someone dumping waste illegally, or you come across fly-tipped materials, please contact Wasteline with as much detail as possible on 03456 081207.