New kerbside collection service pilot starts in Mintlaw, before rolling out to other areas of Aberdeenshire

After changes to the kerbside collection of recycling and waste were agreed by councillors last month, Mintlaw will be one of the first areas to pilot the new service.

A new approach is being taken to push up Aberdeenshire’s recycling rate and send less waste to landfill, ahead of strict recycling targets and national restrictions on the use of landfill.

The pilot, which starts later this month, will be used to gather real-life data on the performance of the new service. It is also a chance for the council to work with residents to resolve any issues before it is rolled out to other areas next year.

Under the new system existing bins will be used and one bin and a food waste caddy will continue to be collected every week. This means:

Week 1 – General waste bins and food waste collected

Week 2 – Recycling bin (blue lid) and food waste collected

Week 3 – Recycling bin (blue lid) and food waste collected

Materials that can be recycled on the kerbside remain the same - the only difference is that the blue-lidded recycling bin is emptied more often (twice in every three weeks).

Households which are part of the pilot will be contacted by post before it starts.

A drop-in session will also be held at Mintlaw’s MACBI community hub on Wednesday, June 19 from noon-8pm to give residents in the pilot area a chance to ask questions.

Households are encouraged to give the new service a go – most will find that as long as they fully use the recycling services available, including the food waste caddy, they will have enough space in the landfill bin.

Aberdeenshire’s recycling rate is 43.7%, but services currently available should allow a rate over 70%.

Over half the materials in local non-recyclable waste bins is recyclable through existing services – equating to around 30,000 tonnes of recyclable materials being binned at a cost of £3.5million a year.

Sending waste to landfill costs much more than recycling, so not only does maximising the value of a material benefit the environment, it also frees up money for other council services.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “We’re pleased to get the pilot going so quickly at Mintlaw and we’ll be running pilots in other areas of Aberdeenshire later in the year.

“The details of these are being finalised and we will let affected householders in the next pilot areas know when this will start as soon as possible.

“The aim of the new service is to push up recycling rates – this has been done successfully by other Scottish local authorities using similar methods and we believe it will also work here.

“One of the key things we continue to try to impress is that we want residents to simply think for a second about how they dispose of the waste they generate, then use the services we provide as best they can.

“Although landfill capacity is essentially reduced, if recycling services are used to their full capacity most households should be able to cope and the use of the food waste bin means there should be no additional hygiene issues either.” 

Where householders genuinely have issues with the capacity of their bins the service will be happy to assist them, as it does now, but the changes are designed to encourage behaviour change and more thought about how resources are treated and disposed of.

Information on the kerbside pilot and the new waste strategy is available at: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-strategy/

Locations and opening times for the network of Household Recycling Centres across the area are available at: http://bit.ly/AbshireHWRCs 

Residents are encouraged to get in touch with the Recycling and Waste Aberdeenshire Facebook page if they are unsure of how to dispose of any material not listed in the A-Z guide: http://bit.ly/AshireAZ 

For collection reminders and access to online council services sign up through myAberdeenshire www.Aberdeenshire.gov.uk/my and download the free App for iOS or Android.