As Aberdeenshire moves to increase its recycling rate and send less waste to landfill, the area’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are useful for a lot more than you might think.
Paper is collected for recycling from households throughout Aberdeenshire. Glass, food and drink cans and plastic bottles are picked up from the kerbside in urban areas, or can be taken to one of many recycling points. Some recycling points also take cardboard and host textile banks.
However, at HWRCs you can send a far wider range of materials for recycling, making more room in your bin and keeping them out of landfill, making the most of the energy and other resources it took to make goods and materials.
As well as your old fridge or TV, smaller electrical goods such as kettles, irons and hairdryers are also accepted and the metals and plastics from them are recycled as far as possible.
If you bring it along, wood can be shredded and composted, made into chipboard or fuel pellets (please remove nails and screws if possible). Scrap metal is also accepted.
Cooking oil is collected in large yellow plastic containers and sent for processing into biodiesel. Even the glycerol by-product is used to make organic soap.
And the HWRC is a safe place to dispose of items that can’t go in your bin.
These include batteries of all sizes, refillable gas canisters (if you are unable to return them to the supplier) and gas discharge lamps, including fluorescent tubes and low-energy light bulbs.
The council is encouraging people to recycle more to help achieve higher recycling rates as well as budget savings.
With the Scottish Government setting a recycling target of 70% by 2025, and the area achieving 33% in 2010-11, there is a long way to go.
From September 5, the council will limit householders to one wheeled-bin each fortnight, with no excess waste (waste outside the bin) being collected.
Using HWRCs, recycling containers and home composting could all help reduce the amount of waste households may still be putting into landfill through their general waste collection.
Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Peter Argyle, said: “We would encourage you not to make a special journey for smaller items, but next time you are on your way to the shops, work or any outing that takes you in the right direction, call by your HWRC and see what extra recycling you can take there to help the area achieve its targets.”
Vice-chair Jill Webster said: “There are a number of ways households can reduce the amount of waste they put in their wheeled bin every fortnight and we want to work together with residents, providing the tools they need to work towards recycling targets and diverting waste from landfill.”
If you’re not sure where your nearest HWRC is, you can find out by putting your postcode or address into our waste information search box at: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste
As well as information about what you can take to the HWRC and what happens to everything the council accept for recycling, the site also has lots of other relevant information, such as advice on home composting.
For any issue related to waste, you can also call the Wasteline on 0845 600 3 900.
Residents in Aberdeenshire can also claim free black and blue recycling containers. Extra boxes could help residents recycle more and reduce the volume of waste in their bins.
They are available free of charge from collection crews or by calling the WasteLine. Free blue-lidded paper bins are also available for rural residents.