New guide for north-east residents aims to clear up recycling confusion

Aberdeenshire Council has a new recycling guide ahead of a big shake-up of its services next year
Aberdeenshire Council has a new recycling guide ahead of a big shake-up of its services next year

As the north-east gears up for Climate Week next month a new guide on what can and cannot be recycled has been published.

Both local authorities have urged residents to recycle more and educate themselves about which items can go into what bin with the weekly collections.

Aberdeenshire Council has published the new online guide as it prepares for a major shake-up of kerbside collections next year.

Paper and card will be collected every three weeks, as well as metals, cartons and plastic items.

Currently, waste and recycling is collected every two weeks in Aberdeenshire in alternating weeks.

Members of the infrastructure services committee (ISC) made the decision in January in a bid to boost recycling rates.

It is hoped the move will save Aberdeenshire Council between £92,000 and £156,000 in operational costs a year.

The new advice for the Shire includes reminders to residents that glass bottles are not collected in any weekly collection and need to be taken to a recycling centre.

On its website the council says due to glass often being broken up during collection it is difficult to sort into separate colours.

It says: “Some material recycling facilities are able to separate some of the glass from the other materials and this is made back into bottles and jars, but a lot of the glass collected in a mixed system is not separated and ends up as aggregate, which is a lower quality recycling process as it is only recycled once.”

Committee chairman Peter Argyle hopes the information will make it clearer about what can and cannot be recycled.

He said: “Everything we have been doing in waste management has been aimed at increasing the amount of recycling we can collect from our residents and encourage them to recycle.

“We are asking people to be more thoughtful with their waste and how they put it out for collection.

“With this latest initiative, the A-Z guide, we are trying to make it as easy as possible to understand what can be recycled and what can’t.

“We need to increase the amount of recycling, there is no doubt about that whatsoever. If everything that went into landfill bins was recycled, our analysis shows that instead, our recycling rate would be more than 70% instead of 43%.”

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Currently in the Granite City recycling and waste is collected every fortnight on alternate weeks.

The council opened a new £27 million recycling centre at Altens in October 2017 and it is capable of processing 20 tonnes of mixed recycling an hour.

Philip Bell, operational delivery committee vice-convener, said: “The council is well on schedule for making its 2020 recycling rate of 60%.

“People can view our website to see what type of items we can and can’t recycle.

“People should be aware that when they are recycling they make a conscious effort to rinse out any food packaging.

“Items like yoghurts, just a quick swill will help, as the food is contamination and the contamination lowers the quality of the recycling.

“If people spend five to 10 seconds it would be very useful.”

Climate Week North East will take place across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire from March 15-24 and a series of events are being organised.

The new guide for Aberdeenshire recycling can be viewed here