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Food and garden waste recycling

Your brown wheelie bin is for recycling waste from the garden, such as grass cuttings, Brown bin
weeds and leaves, and food waste from the home. Your brown bin is collected every fortnight.
You can view or download your waste and recycling collection calendar online.

How to use your brown bin

  • Use your kitchen caddy and liners to collect food waste for recycling. When the liner is full, tie the top and put in your brown bin. You can also put food waste straight into the brown bin, or wrap it in newspaper or paper bags. Please do not put plastic bags in your brown bin as these cannot be composted.  
  • You can Request a Recycling Container or Liners Online if you need a kitchen caddy and/or liners. These are supplied free of charge.  Food boxes and bags
  • Put garden waste straight into your brown bin.
  • Please make sure your brown bin is at the kerbside by 7am on the day of collection and that all waste to be collected fits inside your bin with the lid closed. 
  • Do not pack material into your brown bin too tightly. Food and garden waste can be very heavy. If your bin is too heavy for the crew to move or the mechanical vehicle hoist to lift, it will not be collected.



What you can recycle in your brown bin

Yes please Small Green Tick

No thank you Small Red Cross

All cooked and uncooked food waste, including:

Dairy and eggshells
Meat, fish and bones
Fruit and vegetables
Bread, cakes and pastries
Rice and pasta
Tea bags
Coffee grounds
Solid fats such as butter or lard                                                   

Dog waste, cat litter and other animal waste.
Leftovers from preparing food Pet food
Leftovers from meals Household waste
Out of date food left in fridge or cupboards Food packaging
Flowers Plastic bags or black bags
Grass cuttings Oils or liquids
Hedge trimmings Chemicals
Leaves Compost or turf
Small branches, bark and twigs Large branches

Weeds but NOT Ragwort or Japanese Knotweed

Fence panels, posts or treated wood such as trellises

Flower pots, seed trays or plastic plant labels


Ragwort and Japanese Knotweed

Garden furniture and ornaments
Stones, slabs, rubble or hardcore


If your bin gets contaminated by items in the 'No thank you' list above, it will not be collected by the crew. This is because contaminated loads are rejected by the re-processing facility and so don't get recycled. In order to avoid this, it is important that only the correct items go in your brown bin.

If your brown bin is not collected, please remove the wrong items and put it out again on your next collection day.   

What to do with your excess garden waste Garden Waste

If you regularly have more garden waste than you can fit into one brown bin, you can order another one free:
Request a Recycling Container or Liners Online 

If you occasionally have more garden waste than you can fit in your brown bin, or bulky or heavy items such as large branches, tree trunks, soil, or turf, please take your waste to one of the Recycling Centres or organise a Collection of Bulky Waste Items. There is a charge for a special collection of garden waste.   

Why recycling your food and garden waste matters Pile of food waste

Recycling food and garden waste stops it from going to landfill, where it produces greenhouse gases such as methane which are bad for the environment. Instead, recycling allows your food and garden waste to be transformed into compost, a valuable resource for local farmers and growers. Food and garden waste will be banned from landfill in Scotland by the end of 2020, so it's important that everyone starts to recycle it ahead of the change in the law.

Putting food and garden waste into your brown bin also means that you have more space in your black bin.



What happens to your food and garden waste 

When your brown bin is emptied, the food and garden waste is taken to a special recycling facility in Aberdeenshire. There, it is turned into compost using a process called in-vessel composting (IVC). The compost is used by local farmers and growers.

More information

Back to the Household Waste and Recycling homepage.