New recycling bin measures to be rolled out

Following the shelving of a planned new waste strategy, due to funding issues, Aberdeenshire council is to roll out new procedures for kerbside collection of recycling.

The new procedures are being rolled out across Aberdeenshire. Kintore is not included in the initial locations for the revised procedures, but it will be included in the roll-out at a later date.

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Aberdeenshire Council says the aim of the new measures is to reduce the amount of recycled material which cannot be processed because they’ve been mixed with non-recyclable materials.

The council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) approved the kerbside collection policy and procedures last year, including guidance on how to deal with contaminated bins.

Any non-recyclable material placed into the recycling bin is classed as ‘contamination’, which could spoil the recyclates in any load.

The recycling reprocessor may then reject whole loads as a result. Any rejected loads of recycling are disposed of at an additional cost to the taxpayer, for which there is no council budget available. Income which they would have generated to invest in services is lost.

The council says that collection crews will now visually check each recycling bin for contaminated recycling before emptying as a matter of course – those with severe contamination will not be emptied. Households consistently presenting severely contaminated bins will be offered advice and support to properly separate their waste.

Aberdeenshire Council warns that anyone who who ignores their advice could run the risk of their recycling bin being removed.

Moderately contaminated bins will be emptied, they say, and an orange tag will be attached, providing information to the householder on how to properly use the recycling service.

The council says that offending materials must be removed before the next collection. Crews will not return to empty a rejected bin until the next scheduled collection day for the same bin.

For those with a lot of recyclable materials, they council say they will supply additional free recycling bins can be requested by contacting the council’s Wasteline. Additional non-recyclable waste bins may also be authorised where there is a genuine need following a home visit and assessment by a Community Waste Officer.

“It’s important residents understand how to recycle properly and make best use of the facilities available to them,’ says Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads, Waste and Landscape services, Philip McKay.

“Sending waste to landfill costs more than double the amount it costs to recycle and tackling the levels of contamination in kerbside bins is intended to reduce the amount of recyclates sent to landfill.

“We will be enforcing the procedures in a staggered rollout, tackling problem routes first. This will allow crews to get used to the new procedures without any severe implications for the collection schedule.”

Apparently, more than half the materials in local non-recyclable waste bins are recyclable through existing services – equating to around 30,000 tonnes of recyclable materials being landfilled at a cost of £3.5million a year.
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