A decision on the future of recycling and waste services in Aberdeenshire will now be made at the start of the New Year, to allow extra time to take residents’ views into account.

Views on proposals to push up the area’s recycling rate and send less materials to landfill were sought by the council’s recycling and waste team in a consultation throughout September.

More than 2,500 responses were submitted on a proposed package of measures including reducing the size of non-recyclable bins, increasing each household’s recycling capacity, altering the collection cycle and improving the network of Household Waste Recycling Centres.

The responses are feeding into a new waste strategy, aimed at ensuring the area maximises the environmental, local and financial benefits from the waste it produces as a community.

Analysis of the consultation responses has now been completed and the results have been published here.

The main findings from the consultation are:

  • Overall the response was positive – for all the consultation questions asked, more respondents agreed than disagreed with the proposals by a significant margin.
  • Respondents felt particularly strongly about the importance of residents fully understanding what can be recycled to maximise the quality and value of recyclable waste collected.
  • The two areas where respondents were less supportive of the proposals were the revised criteria for seasonal garden waste points and proposed improvements to the network of recycling centres.
  • Of the two kerbside service options on offer, 49% preferred Option A (fortnightly collection cycle) and 39% Option B (three-weekly cycle).12% stated they had no opinion on the matter.
  • Trade waste customers were generally more positive about the proposals than householders.
  • 56% of trade waste respondents thought changes proposed to kerbside collections would have a positive, little or no impact on their business.

Members of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) were expected to discuss the outcome of the consultation and decide the content of the strategy this week.

That discussion and any related decision is now expected to take place on January 24, to allow extra time to consider the feedback given by communities and make any necessary changes to proposals.

Aberdeenshire Council’s waste manager, Ros Baxter said“We’re extremely grateful to all of those who took the time to participate in this important consultation and we are now reviewing the results in detail and considering potential amendments to our strategy proposals.

“We need to be able to balance any concerns about the proposed changes with the pressing need to increase our recycling rate and divert waste from landfill, presenting viable options to councillors.

“As councillors will be making a decision which affects everyone in the area it really is important for us to understand as much as possible any concerns people may have and try to address those before moving forward.”

The meeting of ISC in January will be available here.

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