Aberdeen City Council to reduce residual waste bin capacity

Aberdeen City Council's Housing and Environment Committee has approved plans to move to a fully co-mingled recycling collection and reduce the size of its kerbside residual waste bins, in a bid to boost recycling rates and reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.

Currently, residents in the city have a black box for the collection of glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and food and drink cans (as well as aerosol cans and foil), with a re-useable white bag for the collection of paper and cardboard. Both of these are collected every fortnight. The council also operates a free fortnightly collection of food and garden waste.

However, under the new plans, which are likely to come into action in 2015/16, the bag and box system would be replaced by a 240-litre wheeled bin, that would used to collect all the dry recyclables currently accepted, as well as plastics pots, tubs and trays and waxed food and drink cartons. Details of the switch to the co-mingled system were released earlier this month.

Alongside the recycling changes, the residual waste bins will reduce in size, dropping from a 240-litre wheelie bin to a 180-litre bin. These will be collected every other week. The committee was told that encouraging households to remove more bulky recyclable materials (such as plastic tubs) from the general waste stream would reduce the need for the existing general waste bin to be so large, hence the smaller general waste bins being proposed.

The council said the cost of the new bins, for general waste and mixed recycling, is budgeted in the capital plan allocation for its Zero Waste Project and would be offset ‘by the reduction in landfill tax resulting from higher recycling rates’.

Indeed, it is hoped that the change to the system will ‘more than treble’ kerbside recycling.

‘Making the process much simpler’

Councillor Jean Morrison, Convener of Aberdeen City Council's Zero Waste Management Sub-committee said: "We have a duty to increase recycling rates while stopping needlessly burying waste in the ground at landfill sites.

"A single, large wheeled bin for recycling would drastically increase the volume of waste a single household can recycle and make the process much simpler, removing the necessity to separate recyclable materials into different containers.

"Clearly the council has to balance its own aspirations and ambitions for waste management with those of the city's citizens and provide waste collection services that are suitable and appropriate for all.

"We believe that reducing the capacity of the general waste wheeled bin while vastly increasing the capacity to recycle would strike the best balance as we seek to drive up recycling rates and become less reliant on landfill."

Read more about Aberdeen’s plans to move to a co-mingled system.