Aberdeen to move to three-weekly collections after £3.4m grant
And, the council has expanded its polystyrene recycling pilot to include six additional household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).
Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the new cycle at a meeting of Aberdeenshire’s infrastructure services committee on 20 January.
Under the plans, all Aberdeenshire households are also to be provided with a new 180l bin for food and drink cans, cartons, and plastics.
The committee heard that the new cycle was expected to divert between 1,249 and 6,434 tonnes of material into recycling, increasing the council’s recycling rate from 44% in 2019 to 45-49% by 2023.
And, the committee estimates that the introduction of the cycle will save the council £700,000 in annual revenue.
A date for the start of the new cycle and delivery of the new bins has not yet been agreed.
Representing an estimated population of more than 260,000, Aberdeenshire council had a household waste recycling rate of 40.8% in 2020.
The council’s in-house team currently collects waste fortnightly, with a grey bin for residual waste and a blue-lidded bin for paper, card, tins, cans, and plastic.
Aberdeenshire’s cycle will see residual waste collected in the grey bin in the first week, paper and card collected in the blue-lidded recycling bins in the second week, and food and drinks cans, cartons, plastic bottles, and pots, tubs and trays collected in the new bin in the third week.Aberdeenshire residents’ recycling is currently collected in blue-lidded bins, while food waste is collected in caddies
Food waste will be collected in caddies every week.
According to minutes from the committee meeting, Aberdeenshire first announced plans to overhaul its collection cycle in 2019.
When Zero Waste Scotland refused to give the council the £3.2 million in funding it needed for its plans, Aberdeenshire proposed an interim solution of a three-weekly cycle using households’ existing containers (see letsrecycle.com story).
However, this plan was not implemented due to the Covid-19.
In March 2021, the Scottish government announced a five-year £70 million fund to improve recycling infrastructure across Scotland, to be administrated by Zero Waste Scotland (see letsrecycle.com story).
Having resubmitted their original bid for funding for the service changes last summer, Aberdeenshire will now receive the £3.4 million it needs from Zero Waste Scotland via the fund.
The council minutes say Aberdeenshire’s kerbside waste collection service will now be “fit to facilitate” current and future Scottish and UK waste policy, including the Scottish Household Recycling Charter, the deposit return scheme, extended producer responsibility for packaging, and reducing residual waste tonnage to energy from waste.
Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of the council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “I very much welcome the significant funding support being provided by Zero Waste Scotland and look forward to the introduction of this new three-weekly cycle which will provide our communities with the opportunity to recycle far more.
I very much welcome the significant funding support being provided by Zero Waste Scotland
- Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire’s infrastructure services committee
“We understand that change to collections will take time to bed in, but we have every confidence that our residents will not only understand them but be surprised with just how much more they will begin to recycle.”
Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire says the expansion of it polystyrene recycling pilot to include six additional HWRCs follows the “success” of the service at the three sites where it had been running.The first load of polystyrene collected by Styropack
In February 2020, the council signed a contract with packaging company Styropack for a pilot programme of polystyrene recycling, which was introduced on a trial-basis in Banchory, Portlethen, and Stonehaven (see letsrecycle.com story).
The council says 6,802 tonnes of polystyrene had been collected from the start of the pilot to November 2021, leading to its decision to expand the service to HWRCs in Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Ellon, Inverurie, Westhill, and Alford.
The nine HWRCs currently accept expanded polystyrene, which includes polystyrene packing materials such as shape-moulded packaging, blocks and planks of fill materials, packing boxes, and packaging balls.
They do not accept any polystyrene containers contaminated with food, takeaway packaging, biodegradable or compostable packing chips, or Styrofoam cups.
At its Aberdeen facility, Styropack turns the collected material into new packaging, such as polystyrene boxes for the fish processing and food industry in North-East Scotland.
Ros Baxter, Aberdeenshire council’s waste manager, said: “We are delighted with the success of the polystyrene recycling programme so far.
“The volume of material brought to HWRCs demonstrates a clear need for polystyrene recycling in Aberdeenshire, and we are pleased to be expanding this service into more locations.”