Limits on commercial-type vehicles at recycling centres


In April 2021, we introduced limits on commercial-type vehicles using recycling centres. Visits are strictly by appointment, you can book a slot online. Find out more about recycling bookings.

On this page you can find out more about the limits:

Vehicle types

We no longer use the MPV and 4-by-4 categories. If you have an MPV, please book in as a car.  If you have a 4-by-4, please book in as the vehicle type: a car, pick-up or van.

Graphic showing type of vehicles permitted, their size and visit limitationsCars, estate cars, people carriers, domestic style pick-up and mobility adapted vehicles (any vehicle that has been adapted for the needs of individuals with disabilities) have unlimited access to recycling centres, unless they tow a trailer or a horse box.

Trailers must be 10ft (3m) or less in length and be towed by a car, mobility adapted vehicle, car derived van or domestic style pick-up. Please note that you cannot tow a trailer or a horse box with a large van or minibus.

Commercial type pick-ups, such as flat beds or livestock trailers, cannot deposit waste at recycling centres.

Householders are not permitted to use vehicles over 3.5 tonnes or with more than 4 wheels, tippers, plant vehicles and trailers over 10ft (3m) in length for taking materials to recycling centres.

Allowed number of visits

Number of visits available per household by vehicle type:

  • Unlimited visits with cars, pick-ups and mobility adapted vehicles (booking is still required)
  • 24 visits per year with vans (including car-derived, crew and camper vans), minibuses and trailers
  • 6 visits per year with horse boxes
  • 12 visits per year with a car derived van towing a trailer

The limits will be applied automatically when you book your visit.

When you book a slot online, the confirmation email will tell you how many of your allotted slots you have used (for example 2 out of 12).

Why we introduced the limits

The limits have been introduced to move business waste away from recycling centres. This will allow centres to create more space for new recyclable materials, improving the service for householders.

Some businesses currently take their waste to the household recycling centres free of charge. The cost of disposing of business waste taken to recycling centres is significant (estimated at £0.5 million per year) and is paid for by taxpayers. The limits are one of the measures to prevent this from happening.

Businesses can instead use the council’s waste transfer stations, where they will pay by weight for their recycling and non-recyclable waste.

How the limits work

The limits will be applied automatically on a rolling 4 week basis, or annual from April to March, depending on the type of vehicle you are booking in.

A household can use vehicles under both rules, for example they have 24 visits in a year for visiting recycling centres using commercial-type vehicles (such as vans, minibuses, trailers up to 10ft in length and hire vans) and unlimited visits using non-commercial type vehicles (such as cars, estate cars, people carriers, domestic style pick-up or mobility-adapted vehicles).

The year for the 24 visits by commercial-type vehicles runs from 1st April to 31st March.

Community groups requiring access to recycling centres should contact their local Community Waste Officer by emailing awo@aberdeenshire.gov.uk to discuss options.

The scheme applies at all 15 recycling centres run by the council.