Garden waste collection up for discussion

Councillors will discuss plans to start a garden waste kerbside collection service in Aberdeenshire this week.

Currently, householders have to take their garden waste to seasonal garden waste recycling points.
Currently, householders have to take their garden waste to seasonal garden waste recycling points.

A business case to be considered today (Thursday) will look at how the service could be carried out along with potential costs, benefits and risks.

Members of the infrastructure services committee asked officers to investigate garden waste collection options as part of its waste strategy back in January.

The request came after councillors approved plans to move to a three-weekly bin collection.

Four options for the new garden waste service have been identified and councillors will choose the best one to be explored further.

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The first would see no changes made to the current waste collections and no further action taken on the garden service.

Expanding seasonal garden waste points across the region would be the second option.

But councillors could decide to start an opt-in chargeable garden waste kerbside collection service for urban areas only.

This move would mean residents living in more remote locations would have to deal with their own garden waste.

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The last option would see an opt-in chargeable garden waste kerbside collection made available to all households across the region.

If a garden waste kerbside collection service is approved it would not be expected to be progressed until 2024.

A report to go before the committee states that the service would cost an estimated £3.1million to run per year.

This figure includes vehicle maintenance, staff costs and fuel.

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And it would cost £3.7million to set up the new service because of the need to buy new waste collection vehicles and bins.

The report added that any garden waste kerbside collection service “would need to be charged to to recover annual revenue costs”.

Should it get the go-ahead the annual service fee would cost residents at least £65.

But if only 20 per cent of households choose to take up the offer the fee could double in price to £128.

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Aberdeenshire is one of only six councils in Scotland that does not provide a kerbside garden waste collection service.

It does offer discounted home composters for residents to compost their own waste at home.

Householders can take their garden waste to seasonal garden waste recycling points across Aberdeenshire every Saturday until October 29.

Garden waste can also be taken to the council’s household waste and recycling centres all year round but bookings must be made in advance.

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The council collects around 10,000 tonnes of garden waste per year through its recycling points.

Composting is also encouraged and home compost bins can be bought from the council at a discounted price.

Residents in neighbouring Aberdeen City, Moray and Angus councils offer residents an opt-in chargable kerbside garden waste collection service.