Upcoming changes to refuse collection in Aberdeenshire: ‘still rubbish, literally!’

The changes will be implemented in the south of Aberdeenshire by March 2015.
The changes will be implemented in the south of Aberdeenshire by March 2015.

Aberdeenshire Council have been accused of backward thinking following their decision to stop collecting glass from the kerbside.

The Mearns Leader reported last week that new bin lorries which are being phased in by the council will no longer have the capacity to collect glass from the kerbside, meaning that residents will have to take their glass to a local recycling point.

The new lorries will be in place in south Aberdeenshire by March 2015.

Readers have been giving their opinion on the changes on social media.

Neil Smith said: “Aberdeenshire Council’s waste collection has been ill thought out since it’s inception about eight years ago. This is a backward step. Other local authorities seem capable of joined up thinking. It would appear that ours isn’t.”

Graham Macauley commented: “This will only result in glass not being recycled and instead going into landfill. Back to the bad old days we go.”

Trish Macfarlane added: “As I live “remotely,” the only thing apart from normal rubbish that the council collects is paper and card - all other recyclables have to be taken to the recycling centre by us. This was unfair to start with and still remains unfair!”

Nicola Murray said: “This will end in a fail for recycling, how to they expect the elderly or people with no cars to get to a glass recycling point? Stupidity whoever has decided this!”

Kirsteen McKechnie said: “The collection of recyclables in Aberdeenshire is rubbish literally! Aberdeen city collect glass from the kerbside so I don’t see why Aberdeenshire Council can’t. Ridiculous.”

Councillor Peter Argyle, who is chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, had this to say in response to the criticism: “The starting point is the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Regulations.

‘‘These do not allow the collection of mixed glass (ie green, brown, clear etc need to be separated at the point of collection). This makes it impossible to include glass in the recyclable material bins with the extended range of materials, including plastics, cardboard and brown paper/card that can be accepted.

‘‘To collect glass, colour-sorted at the kerbside, would therefore require a further collection, in addition to the recyclable and food and residual and food collections on alternate weeks, with dedicated vehicles and operatives to do the sorting.

‘‘One of the wider benefits of the new arrangements is that - for the first time - those living in rural areas and those living in larger communities will receive the same service. Hitherto those living in the countryside or in smaller communities, receive a fortnightly residual waste collection and a monthly paper collection. Those of us living in rural areas have been taking our glass to recycling points for many years.

‘‘The service has increased the number of recycling points across Aberdeenshire and is always willing to look at further locations proposed. Many of these collection points are close to the shops where the glass was purchased in the first instance - and help or advice is available for those people who have genuine difficulty.

‘‘And yes, we did consider ‘kerbside’ collections in rural areas as an alternative approach; the costs and the technical problems made it clear this was not a viable option. Aberdeenshire Council has never collected garden waste but has offered residents very highly subsidised vessels for home composting, which is the most effective and environmentally sound method of dealing with such material. Again, the costs of rolling out a garden ‘waste’ service across a widespread rural area such as Aberdeenshire would be prohibitive.”

Mr Argyle added that in the Banff area, where the new system has already been introduced, there have been no complaints.