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Sub-committee moves to decrease landfill waste and increase recycling rates


Aberdeen City Council's Zero Waste Management Sub-committee today [Tuesday 25 February] moved to reduce the capacity of general waste kerbside wheeled bins as part of a drive to recycle more and divert rubbish from landfill.

Under the proposed new service, a 240-litre wheeled bin for kerbside recycling would replace the existing 70-litre bag and box system, more than trebling kerbside recycling capacity.

This would 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 would be accepted for recycling on the kerbside 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 Sub-committee was told that encouraging households to remove more bulky recyclable materials from the general waste stream would reduce the need for the existing 240-litre wheeled bin for general waste.

Under the proposals presented to the Sub-committee, residents served by a kerbside collection would instead be provided with a 180-litre wheeled bin for general waste.

The Sub-committee agreed to refer the proposals to Aberdeen City Council's Housing and Environment Committee for final say. If approved by Housing and Environment Committee, the new service would be rolled out in 2015.

The cost of new bins, for either general waste or mixed recycling, is budgeted in the capital plan allocation for the Council's Zero Waste Project and would be offset by the reduction in landfill tax resulting from higher recycling rates.

The frequency of all kerbside collections will not change.

A report before the Sub-committee drew on the experiences of local authorities elsewhere in the UK which have already opted for 240-litre mixed recycling wheeled bins and 180-litre general waste wheeled bins.

Many of these local authorities have the highest recycling rates in the UK and found the majority of households were able to reduce their general waste accordingly.

Zero Waste Management Sub-committee Convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: "We have a duty to increase recycling rates while stopping the disposal of waste ending up needlessly buried 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."