Booking systems to remain at Garioch household recycling centres

Councillors have voted to keep booking systems in place at household recycling centres across Garioch in a bid to tackle trade waste and fly-tipping.

Councillors have voted to keep booking systems in place
Councillors have voted to keep booking systems in place

Residents have had to book a time slot online ahead of their visit to the centres since the March 2020 Covid lockdown.

And it won’t change for the forseeable future after local members opted to keep the system in place.

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The decision will affect the household recycling centres (HRC) in Inverurie, Westhill and Insch.

The matter was discussed at a meeting of the Garioch area committee this morning.

Council officers had put two options on the table for members to choose between:

Option 1 Retain the full booking system across HRC sites in Garioch.

Option 2 Implement an extended hybrid proposal which would allow non-booking days on Wednesday and Saturday for all sites in Garioch from Monday, November 28 through to July 28 2023.

Councillor Jim Gifford praised the booking system, saying it had “worked really well”.

He added: “I used it last week, I went on the website in the morning and got a booking for the afternoon.

“It was quiet, nice and safe, and I was in and out in a flash.”

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Councillor Judy Whyte also supported the booking system.

She said it was “extremely easy to use” and allows the council to manage trade waste.

Ms Whyte also said the system ensured recycling sites were safe for customers and staff, and helped “encourage good recycling behaviour”.

However councillor Neil Baillie asked his fellow members to support the hybrid option.

He said the trial period would allow the local authority to get more information on how the centres are used – and to determine if a booking system would be required again in the future.

Mr Baillie noted that under option 2 trade waste may increase on Wednesdays while more residents may visit the centres on Saturdays as bookings would not be needed.

He explained: “Having that time period where we’ve got a hybrid system in place could be quite valuable as to try and justify why we might have to put in the full booking system for a longer period of time.”

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But following a vote the majority opted to keep the current booking system in place.

Ten members chose to retain the full booking system while three backed the hybrid proposal.

Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee agreed to make changes to household recycling centres across the region last month.

Booking systems will be removed on a trial basis in the Buchan, Banff and Buchan, and Marr areas.

Centres in Formartine will move to the hybrid system while a decision is still to be made for those in Kincardine and Mearns.

Data collected during the trial period will allow the officers to determine the next steps for the region’s recycling centres.

The booking system is open for all residents of Aberdeenshire for household waste only.

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You can find out more about recycling and how to make a recyling centre booking by visiting www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/recycling/book-recycling-centre-visit/