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New recycling pilot scheme launched in Aberdeen

15/08/14

A new way of collecting recyclable material is being trialled in parts of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen City Council is testing out changes to the way recyclables are collected as part of a short-term project designed to pave the way for mixed recycling collections across the city.

The pilot scheme, which is taking place on selected rounds in parts of the city, involves collecting residents' recyclable materials in a standard refuse collection vehicle instead of the kerbside recycling vehicle.

The fully mixed, or "co-mingled", waste is then taken to the City Council's interim transfer facility at East Tullos. From there, all material is being sent to the Shotton Materials Recycling Facility near Chester where it is fully separated and recycled.

The new system has been in operation in parts of Deeside, Queen's Cross and Kingswells this week and will be trialled in other areas of the city over the coming weeks.

Zero Waste Management Sub-committee convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: "Residents can be assured that all the material that they put out for recycling – tins, paper, card, glass and plastic – is still being recycled, even though they are seeing it go into the back of a normal bin lorry. There will be no drop in standards as a result of changing the methods of collection during the trial.

"Early results are showing us that collecting recycling material in this way is quicker and cheaper than sorting it at the kerbside. The rounds are being completed in less time than normal, allowing crews to be redeployed to other collections.

"Expanding and improving recycling collections is a key priority for the City Council and trying out different options is an important part of ensuring the new service works effectively and efficiently for everybody."

Residents are being asked to continue to present their recycling material in the normal way. The trial, meantime, is for a limited period of time and is taking place on individual collection rounds in the city, so most residents will see no change to their recycling services.

The information gained from the trials will help the City Council to plan for the introduction of mixed recycling collections city-wide. Under the proposed new service, a 240-litre wheeled bin for kerbside recycling will replace the existing 70-litre bag and box system, more than trebling kerbside recycling capacity. This will in future allow residents to discard all recyclable materials in the single wheeled bin instead of separating it into different containers for collection. In addition, more materials will be accepted for recycling – with plastics pots, tubs and trays, and waxed food and drink cartons being added to the current paper, cardboard, plastics, cans and glass collection.

The Council has taken the decision to move to a wheeled bin based mixed recycling collection, starting in 2015. The mixed recycling collection system means that all flats and tenements will have extensive and easy to use recycling services. The first stage of introducing the mixed recycling service in flats and tenements areas started in June 2014 with promising early results. The Council will build its own processing facility for separating mixed recycling in Altens creating jobs and economic opportunities for the city. The plant will be operational in late 2016.