Council moves towards new waste service

Aberdeenshire Council is moving closer to the introduction of a new waste collection system across our area.  In an effort to try and recover the leading position of the Council in Waste Management the Council is purchasing new vehicles and will make big changes to its collection system.

Aberdeenshire has fallen back in recent years in comparison to other Councils in terms of recycling and dealing with waste.  Councillors voted to controversially mix up for the recycling and transport this off to a large sorting plant where low paid workers will sort it into usable categories.

The new vehicles will be arriving soon and the first places to have the new mixed recyclate collection (also known as co-mingled) will be Turriff, Banff and Macduff.

The Council has told Councillors:

“What will happen to the recycling under the new system and what will be collected?

The materials will go to a Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF) for separating usually by a mix of mechanical and hand sorting, and will then be sent on to reprocessors for recycling.

 The MRF tender closed on 21st August and is currently being evaluated. The contract award will be announced once it has been approved at the P & R Committee meeting on 19th September. We will then also be able to announce the confirmed list of materials accepted by the chosen MRF.

The new collection service

Collections of refuse and recycling will be alternate fortnightly and food waste will be collected weekly with either collection. The routes will be mirrored so that the collections will be on the same day each week, making life easier for householders.

Glass can still be recycled

To achieve a high quality glass recycling system, the Scottish Government advises against mixing glass with other recyclates, preferring to keep a system of colour separation which allows glass to be recycled into bottles again and again. The Government discourages collection of glass in a co-mingled system unless the same quality can be achieved as is achieved through colour separated recycling.

We do not believe that the same quality can be achieved at present, hence the decision to keep it out of the co-mingled system. 

Householders can continue to recycle glass at any of our 17 HWRCs or nearly 200 Recycling Points.

The new service involves each household having one standard bin and having a new blue topped mixed recycling wheeled bin.  Food waste is collected in small bags as well.  Each of the two wheeled bins are collected each alternate week.  The small food waste bank is collected each week.

Tarves, Pitmedden, Udny and Methlick are scheduled to get their new service by the end of June 2014 and Oldmeldrum a month later.  It has not been clarified when Balmedie and Belhelvie /Potterton will be included.

Cllr Paul Johnston said:

The collection of food waste is required under new regulations so it is good that the Council are now implementing this.  Waste and recyclate collection is only different in that the recyclate bin is now mixed.  However, this is without glass.  All class recyclate now needs to be taken to the glass recycling bins nearest to you.My criticism of this, is that more class will end up being put into their ordinary waste bin by those people who have not got easy access to take things to other recycling centres.  Mixing waste, may initially appear easier for consumers but is an expensive alternative in the long run.  However, Aberdeenshire Council’s actions will increase recycling overall as it extends services to more rural locations.  Initially this is good but it will plateau and in the longer run the council risks further major upheavals in order to meet the targets demanded by Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan.

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