Small rise in trade waste and recycling charges to provide full-cost recovery for Aberdeenshire Council

Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to introduce a small increase in its charges for handling both trade waste and recycling to provide full-cost recovery for the authority.

Waste fees have gone up due to the annual increase in landfill tax and gate fee costs, while recycling fees have also risen owing to the significant increase in processing costs.

The council’s Infrastructure Services Committee which met on Thursday (March 12) heard that the increase in charges equated to a weekly rise of just 19p per week for the most common 240L waste bin collection. 

A standard 240L recycling bin collection will increase by 30p per week, with the new recycling charges applying to both mixed recycling and glass collections. 

The waste charges will be inclusive of landfill tax and gate fees, with VAT only being charged when the council subcontracts to provide collections. 

Councillors were also reminded that the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), which has just been postponed by the Scottish Government until the summer of 2022, could potentially result in a further increase in processing costs for mixed recycling due to the removal of economically-valuable materials such as plastic bottles and cans from the current mixed recycling composition. 

This would only leave materials such as paper, card, drinks cartons, plastic tubs, pots and trays in the mixed recycling which may cost the council more to process. 

Philip McKay, Head of Roads, Landscape and Waste Services, told councillors that due to the inclusion of glass bottles within DRS, there will also be a significant reduction in the amount of glass bottles the authority collects separately from trade customers - the income from which subsidises the current collection costs.  

ISC chair Cllr Peter Argyle said: “We have a duty as a responsible local authority to recover costs associated with the provision of these service as per council policy. 

“I can assure our commercial customers that our charges remain comparable to those being applied by local waste management companies and neighbouring councils.” 

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “It is important for businesses to remember that it is still considerably cheaper to recycle their waste than to have it collected as general waste.  

“With the ban on landfill material firmly on the horizon, I would encourage firms to take a serious look at what materials they could start recycling.”