Council seeks residents' views on how to recycle more - the Big Recycling Challenge

Aberdeenshire residents are being asked to take part in the Big Recycling Challenge by giving their views on the council’s recycling and waste services to help recycle more materials and send less to landfill.

Currently the council provides alternate weekly collections of mixed dry recycling and landfill waste, with food waste collected for recycling every week.

A network of recycling centres, glass and textile recycling points and seasonal garden waste points is also available to help residents recycle as much of their waste as possible.

Despite the availability of these services, Aberdeenshire’s recycling rate is currently only 43.5%. However, a recent analysis of landfill bins from households across the region shows the recycling rate could be more than 70% if the recycling services currently available were used effectively.

Sending waste to landfill costs the taxpayer twice as much as it does to recycle, and the money saved by recycling could be used to enhance other vital services. Recycling is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly option.

Residents are now being asked how council services could be improved to help them to recycle more. Possible changes could include smaller landfill waste bins, less frequent collections of the landfill waste bin, or both.

Garden waste is currently collected at recycling centres and at additional seasonal recycling points. Residents are asked to consider whether alternative arrangements would help them recycle more garden waste.

This could mean the introduction of a paid-for kerbside collection or reduced frequency of landfill bin collections to allow garden waste to be lifted from households using the same bin lorries.

It is thought the cost of a paid-for garden waste collection could be in the region of £40-£50 per household per year.

Chairman of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), Peter Argyle, said: “It’s important to stress that this only a consultation at this point, but we simply do not recycle as much as we should and we need to find ways to tackle that. 

“We want to hear residents’ views to help shape a service which will help us all recycle as much waste as possible while providing the best value for the entire community.

“It’s important we ensure our services allow us to take full advantage of the financial and environmental benefits of recycling for many years to come and allow for changes in how we deal with our waste.”

ISC Vice Chair, John Cox, said: “The suggested changes are proposals at this stage and are designed to drive up our recycling rate, reducing the waste we all send to landfill.

“The aim is also to improve our services and meet legal obligations without increasing the cost to the tax payer.

“We would like every Aberdeenshire householder to take part in this survey and to tell us how we can best manage a service which is vital to everyone.”

The online survey is open now and will run until the end of February.

Residents can also complete hard copies of The Big Recycling Challenge Survey at their local library or Aberdeenshire Council Service Point.

More information on the current recycling and waste services is available on the council's website.

Residents can request additional food caddies and recycling bins, free of charge here: http://bit.ly/Additionalbins

If residents have suggestions for where the council could place additional glass recycling points to help them recycle more, they should call 03456 081207.