Student accommodation waste and recycling

Free waste and recycling collections are provided to student accommodation properties, where they are registered for council tax, during term-time from the first Monday in September to the last Friday in May. Collections are for household mixed recycling, food waste and non-recyclable waste. 

The bin capacity provided is in line with domestic properties, which is: 

  • 1x 1280 litre general waste collection per 15 students 
  • 1x 1280 litre dry mixed recycling collection per 15 students 
  • 1x food waste bin per store

If sites require additional collections, operators should arrange a commercial uplift for the excess waste. 

No excess waste or large items should be left next to bins as these will not be collected. 

Operators should comply with the following to ensure continued collections: 

  • All waste must be properly sorted in recycling and food waste bins located within easy access of all accommodation. For details of what goes in each bin please visit what goes in each bin. This information can be translated into multiple languages at the top of the page. 
  • Our collection crews require unrestricted and safe access to your bins during standard working hours (7am-3pm, Mon-Fri) in order to collect them. If you have locked gates or barriers, please provide keys or codes to enable access to your bins. 
  • Access must be maintained at all times for residents and arrangements must be in place to enable disabled residents to safely dispose of their waste. 
  • Bins should not be allowed to overflow. The position of bins should be rotated where necessary and the area around the bins maintained.  
  • No large items or excess waste should be left next to bins.  
  • No business waste should be disposed of in domestic bins.  

To assist students in managing their waste, we can provide food waste caddies, food waste bags, and blue recycling bags where required. To make a request for any of these please visit request a replacement bin. Note that caddies and blue bags should be left on the premises when students move out. 

Summer Collections

Free collections are not provided during the summer break (between the first Monday in June and the last Friday in August) because there will be no permanent residents on site and as such, no household waste produced during this time. Instead, a commercial waste contract is needed for any collections required during the summer break. 

For more information on the Council’s Business Waste and Recycling Service, visit the business waste page or e-mail   

New student accommodation sites 

We work with housing developers to provide waste and recycling facilities for new properties. To ensure that the appropriate facilities are put in place, site managers should contact a minimum of one month before new properties are occupied. 

For further information and guidance visit waste and recycling for new housing developments.

Information for students

To help inform students what waste should go in each bin, you can download the information poster below to display in busy areas.


Please remove incorrect items and your bin will be collected on your next collection day. For details of what goes in each bin visit what goes in each bin

If you are unable to wait until your next collection day, an additional collection can be arranged for a fee by calling the Customer Contact Centre on 03000 200 292. 

Any waste not presented in a bin or that cannot fit in a bin with the lid closed e.g., black bags, white goods, furniture, and mattresses are considered excess waste. Excess waste and large items next to bins will not be collected.  

You can arrange an additional collection for excess waste or bulky items that do not fit in your bin by contacting Aberdeen City Council on 03000 200292. There is a charge for this collection. Alternatively, you can arrange an uplift through a private waste contractor. 

Bin capacity provided is in line with domestic properties and is determined based on the number of students expected to use them. If you require additional capacity, e.g. end of term clearances, you should arrange a commercial uplift. 
If good quality items are being disposed of, consider if this waste can be collected by a local charity or donated to a clothing bank on site.  You can also engage with students to promote reducing waste, reusing, and recycling to limit the amount of waste they produce.

Students can donate items to the Reuse Shop at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) at Hazlehead. 
Details of locations, including charity shops, where items can be donated for reuse can also be found on our reuse map.
Students can also use online tools such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree to advertising items for sale. 

Students can consider using car share schemes such as Co-wheels or Enterprise to access a HWRC. Hazlehead and Bucksburn HWRCs have pedestrian and bicycle access. 

Contact the Waste and Recycling team

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