Waste and recycling service changes - 2019 to 2023 strategy

We are still putting too much recyclable waste into our black non-recyclable bins. Over half of what goes into a typical black bin could be recycled if sorted correctly. 

In 2020 Aberdeenshire’s recycling rate was 40.8%, slightly below the Scottish average of 42%. Around 70% of the waste we produce in Aberdeenshire is recyclable using the existing recycling services.

The waste strategy 2019 to 2023 for Aberdeenshire was approved by councillors in January 2019. This is a 5 year strategy that aims to maximise reuse and recycling. In addition to providing more information to residents about what and how to recycle, the strategy also involves changes to the kerbside collection service and the recycling centres.

To develop the strategy, the council consulted the public through the Big Recycling Challenge survey and focus groups were run in February 2018 to get feedback on some of the proposals. A public consultation on the resulting draft waste strategy was carried out in September 2018.

Find out more information about the new strategy:

Kerbside collection changes

Around 70% of the waste we produce is recyclable using the existing recycling services. To maximise recycling, we are changing how often the bins are emptied, moving to a 3-weekly collection cycle (one bin and a food waste caddy emptied every week): 

  • Week 1: Food waste caddy and non-recyclable waste bin (often known as landfill or refuse bin)
  • Week 2: Food waste caddy and 240L blue lidded recycling bin
  • Week 3: Food waste caddy and a new 180L recycling bin for paper card and cardboard

The date for moving to this new cycle has not yet been agreed – this page will be updated when a date is set. We will also contact you by post when the new service will be rolled out in your area.

The materials that can be recycled on the kerbside remain the same. The only difference is the introduction of an additional recycling bin to allow the separation of paper, card and cardboard from the remaining mixed containers:

  • plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • metal food and drink cans including aerosols and foil
  • food and drink cartons

This will increase the quality and capacity for recycling material.

Recycling centre changes

To maximise reuse and recycling at recycling centres, we are:

  • increasing the number of materials that can be recycled
  • increasing the number of staff to help you recycle as much as possible
  • providing more opportunities for reuse

To make this all possible we are diverting business waste to waste transfer stations, stopping collection of tyres and asbestos, improving the layout at recycling centres and closing the smallest recycling centres (Gardenstown, Hatton and Whitehills) which don't have space for all the materials.

Also, more consistent opening hours at recycling centres and at times convenient to households are introduced.

Recycling centre caps on commercial-type vehicles

In 2021 we introduced limits for vans, minibuses and trailers to prevent businesses from using recycling centres and to create space for more recyclable materials.

Business waste drop off service

From 2020 businesses have the option of taking their waste and recycling to business waste transfer stations.

Timeline of key service changes

Key dates for service changes:

  • 6th April 2019 - New seasonal garden waste recycling points start
  • 29th April 2019 - New opening hours at recycling centres (except Alford and Portlethen)
  • 3rd June 2019 - Asbestos and tyres no longer accepted for disposal
  • 24th June 2019 - Kerbside collection pilot starts in Mintlaw area (pdf 277KB) excluding Northwoods and Sutherland Drive 
  • 14th July 2020 - Business waste drop-off service made available at waste transfer stations
  • July and August 2019 - More staff employed at recycling centres to help households to recycle as much as possible
  • 10th September 2019 - Kerbside collection pilots start in Braemar area (pdf 162KB) and Cruden Bay area (pdf 340KB)
  • 1st April 2021 – limits for commercial-type vehicles at recycling centres implemented (updated on 1st August 2021)
  • 2020 to 2022 - More reuse and recyclable materials collected at recycling centres
  • 2022 to 2023 - Kerbside waste and recycling collection service moves to a 3-weekly cycle with the delivery of an additional 180L bin for recycling (households will be contacted by post before the new collection cycle starts)

Notification of changes

How we notify you of changes:

  • changes to services advertised in advance on the council’s website, social media, through local media and at recycling centres as appropriate
  • changes to kerbside services notified to households by post

To keep up to date with the latest developments, like Recycling and Waste Aberdeenshire on Facebook.