Aberdeenshire council has stated that changes to its Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) – which were announced in its waste strategy – will be introduced this month.
The changes see three sites with the lowest recycling rate – Gardenstown, Hatton and Whitehills – all close, with each of the remaining sites now open for longer.
Under the new proposals, aimed at increasing the recycling rates and reducing the amount of materials sent to landfill ahead of the upcoming ban (see letsrecycle.com story), all sites will now be open until 16:30, and sites with seasonal extended opening hours on a Tuesday evening will now close at 7pm.
The changes come as part of the council’s new waste strategy, and will also see Portsoy and Insch HWRCs, which were due to close, remain open on ‘limited hours’ to accommodate local demand.
The council added that it is continuing work to increase the number of materials accepted at recycling centres and to increase the number of reuse facilities available.
Additional staffing at each HWRC is also expected to come into effect from summer. More staff will be available to assist residents and advise on the best suitable container for their waste.
However, asbestos and tyres will no longer be accepted from June 3 and residents are advised to make use of commercially available facilities instead.
Ros Baxter, waste manager at the council, said: “These improvements to HWRCs are intended to provide an equitable level of service for all communities within existing budgets.
“We hope the recycling rate will increase at each site, which will in turn reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by the area as a whole, potentially saving money which can then be reinvested.”Ros Baxter
“We hope the recycling rate will increase at each site, which will in turn reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by the area as a whole, potentially saving money which can then be reinvested.”
This was echoed by Matt Davis, the council’s disposal team manager, who added: “The majority of the area’s HWRCs are well used and all local communities are within relatively easy reach of one, so we hope we will see people making good use of them into the future.
“As well as providing additional local employment, the increase in customer service should be noticeable, with a knock-on effect for recycling rates while reducing materials sent to landfill.”
Aberdeenshire’s recycling rate is 43.7%, but it says services currently available should allow a rate of more than 70%.
The council runs its own HWRCs, with materials currently accepted at the sites including glass, mixed recycling, paper, cardboard, plasterboard, textiles, garden waste, household batteries, lead acid batteries, engine oil and electrical appliances.
The council, which serves around 260,000 residents, lists 19 centres on its site at the moment ahead of the upcoming changes.