Aberdeenshire Council confirms partial re-opening of Household Recycling Centres from June 1

Aberdeenshire Council has confirmed it will re-open 12 of its Household Recycling Centres for bagged general waste, garden waste and electrical items. 

Residents of Aberdeenshire will be asked to book a slot online to control the volume of vehicles – cars and pick-ups only - accessing both the centres and surrounding areas at any one time. 

The decision to re-open some of the facilities has been taken in accordance with Government guidelines and is based on measures being put in place to protect both visitors and staff and the agreement of traffic management plans. 

The Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) opening from Monday, June 1 are those at Macduff, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Inverurie, Huntly, Turriff, Westhill, Banchory, Laurencekirk, Portlethen and Redcloak at Stonehaven.  

Peterhead will reopen on June 8 following the completion of essential repairs. 

These facilities will operate seven days a week as usual and have extended opening hours from 9am to 6.30pm.

Portlethen will retain its usual 5-day operation with the same extended hours as elsewhere and while opening from Monday, June 1 will close for two days before re-opening on Thursday, June 4 so as not to delay the reopening.

All HRCs will have clearly-defined unloading bays to ensure strict physical distancing is maintained at all times.

Only one adult should unload a vehicle - unless two adults are needed for heavy items - and staff will be unable to assist with any unloading. 

There will be no pedestrian access and no children will be permitted outside vehicles. 

During the initial phase, there will be no access for trailers or vans, however these will hopefully be able to be accommodated in the second phase in due course. 

General waste – i.e. waste that would normally go in your black bin – will only be accepted if it is bagged.  

All garden waste must arrive bagged before being emptied in the appropriate skip. As loose materials take longer to unload and put in a skip, this measure is to make the process quicker and to allow more slots to be made available for residents. 

There will be clearly-marked areas to deposit white goods and electrical items. 

No other materials – i.e. bulky items, glass, cardboard, wood, metals, textiles and rubble - will be accepted at this stage. 

Council Waste Services manager Ros Baxter added: “In order for some of our Household Recycling Centres to re-open, it has been essential that we put appropriate safety measures in place both for your safety and that of our staff, and we urge residents to adhere to these measures. 

“The reason for introducing this system is to control the number of visitors to a manageable number each day to ensure social distancing on the sites is observed and the volume of traffic off-site does not cause traffic problems on the local access roads. I would stress that anyone turning up to the sites without a booking will be turned away. 

“We hope to reopen the remainder of our HRCs as soon as possible depending on Government guidance and, in the fullness of time, return to a nearly normal service across all of our sites. The booking system will almost certainly be in place for as long as physical distancing measures are required and this may be quite some time.” 

Welcoming the reopening of some facilities, Aberdeenshire Council Leader, Councillor Jim Gifford, said: “I am delighted that 12 out of our 15 Household Recycling Centres are re-opening shortly. We appreciate that some residents may have been struggling to cope with a build-up of additional waste materials and we thank you for your patience. 

“Our key focus continues to be on providing our core household waste collections and I want to express my personal thanks for the continuing efforts of all our staff to ensure it is business as usual as far as possible during these unprecedented times.” 

Depute Leader, Cllr Peter Argyle, added: “While it is welcome news indeed that we are reopening some HRCs, I would stress that anyone using our facilities should treat our site staff with respect at all times. Abuse towards site staff will not be tolerated and the police will be informed. 

“It should also be highlighted that additional traffic management will be in place and visitors should carefully follow the instructions provided on the signs and by site staff and, of course, continue to follow they physical distancing rules on site to protect the health of staff and other visitors.” 

Details of the booking system will appear on the Aberdeenshire Council Waste Services website at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/  and will be featured on our social media page at http://facebook.com/AberdeenshireWaste/