Council aims for better recycling rates across shire

In coming weeks Aberdeenshire Council will encourage people to recycle more to help achieve higher recycling rates as well as budget savings by limiting householders to one wheeled-bin each fortnight, with no excess waste (waste outside the bin) being collected.

This policy for the correct use of household wheeled bins has been in place for a number of years, but from September 5 it will be more firmly enforced, to encourage recycling. Free additional recycling boxes are being made available to those who need them.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “Our staff will take a sensible and common sense approach, but we cannot continue to collect extra waste from households.

“We are asking all residents to play their part and recycle as much as possible. We hope the majority of people, those who do consider how their waste is disposed of and contribute to Aberdeenshire’s recycling effort, will welcome this move.

“Bins which are full to overflowing with recyclable items should be a thing of the past as we strive to meet targets and avoid dumping our waste into holes in the ground.

“Financial penalties imposed on councils for the failure to recycle adequately and for dumping too much into landfill ultimately affect every taxpayer and we hope this link is clear.”

Previously, excess waste may have been picked up by collection crews and many households are also known to have purchased extra bins. By applying the policy, it is hoped persistent non-recyclers will be encouraged to recycle and compost more to fit all of their waste into one 240 litre bin.

With the Scottish Government setting a recycling target of 70% by 2025, and the area achieving 33% in 2010-11, there is a long way to go. Dumping waste into landfill is more expensive than recycling, it is a waste of resources and leads to environmental damage.

Both extra, unauthorised bins and excess waste have similar cost implications for the council and by reducing the amount of garden waste and recyclable material currently placed in residual bins, the council expects to save £1million to 2013.

There will be a one-month awareness raising period during August, when staff will collect excess waste and empty unauthorised second bins. Information will be attached to individual bins which either have excess waste presented with them or which staff believe are unauthorised extra bins, to remind householders that these will not be collected after September 5.

Those who continue to flout the council’s policy will be visited by waste officers, who will give advice and assess requests for extra capacity.

Enforcement action under the Environmental Protection Act will be a last resort, but will be available to deal with persistent offenders.

ISC vice chair Jill Webster added: “Those flouting the rules are very much in the minority and many residents make an invaluable contribution to our recycling rate, in fact our residents are essential to meet our challenging targets.

“But we have to endeavour to improve on Aberdeenshire’s current performance and the enforcement of existing rules can help us do that.”

There are occasions when extra bins are permitted and will be picked up, such as where a family has lots of nappy waste or where there is a medical need, and this is assessed on an individual basis. Those householders who are struggling to fit all their waste into one bin should call WasteLine on 0845 600 3 900 to arrange an assessment.

To help people compost more of their garden and kitchen waste and keep it out of their bin, Aberdeenshire Council is currently selling home composters at a subsidised rate, details can be found on the waste pages of Aberdeenshire Council’s website at: http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste

If residents want to suggest possible locations for additional recycling points within their communities they can now do this on the website or call WasteLine on 0845 600 3 900. A

dditional recycling containers are also available free of charge to householders, with an ever wide range of items collected at the kerbside, including envelopes, yellow pages, phone books and batteries.

Household Waste and Recycling Centres accept an even wider range, including electrical and electronic equipment and Tetra Paks at certain sites.