Rigid plastic recycling trial to begin

Ellon Household Recycling Centre
Ellon Household Recycling Centre

What can and can’t be recycled, particularly when it comes to plastics, can be confusing and visitors to council Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) often look to recycle rigid plastics.

Rigid plastics include items such as laundry baskets, buckets, toys, plant pots and drainage pipes.

As a result of the public demand to recycle more of the plastic they consume, a one year recycling trial has recently begun at two Aberdeenshire HRCs.

Working with local social enterprise Wood Recyclability Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council hopes to divert more of this material from landfill by increasing the opportunity to give it another life.

The introduction of this new initiative by Wood Recyclability creates a viable recycling route, and the Council is delighted to work with them to provide this additional service to HRC customers.

Aberdeenshire Council will provide the group with rigid plastic discarded by members of the public, then the different types will be sorted before being recycled.

The issue of plastic waste has become more prominent recently, as people start to better understand the impact irresponsible disposal can have on the environment, our oceans in particular.

Although it is a lightweight material, plastic is often bulky and much of it ends up as waste.

It is hoped the trial will establish the feasibility of recycling this material locally and potentially allow facilities to be rolled out across Aberdeenshire.

Initially it will run at the Ellon and Peterhead HRCs, which will have containers where rigid plastic items can be deposited.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “This one year trial will allow us to monitor the levels of contamination, tonnages being collected and to ascertain the viability of end processes and the user market to determine whether a recycling scheme on a wider basis is feasible.

“As well as being more environmentally friendly, recycling will cost the council far less than landfill thereby also providing a financial benefit. If successful this will be a true ‘win-win’.”

Wood Recyclability is a social enterprise set up in Udny, Pitmedden in 1997 to provide practical work experience for people with additional support needs through working with waste wood.

Having expanded their wood recycling project over the years, they are now looking at what other materials they could help divert from landfill.

They will sort and bale the rigid plastics collected at council HRCs before sending them on to a reprocessor. As the trial progresses, their aim is to granulate the plastic before sending it on.

For more details about the materials that can be recycled in Aberdeenshire see the A-Z guide here.