21 June 2023

Reducing waste and improving soil quality

Aberdeenshire councillors acknowledged the financial implications of adding more seasonal garden waste collection points into the region at the latest Infrastructure Services Committee on 15 June.

While there is no funding within the Waste Service budget to implement additional seasonal garden waste points, it was reported that some of the costs could be offset if more garden waste was diverted away from landfill bins, which have significant associated disposal costs.

Across Aberdeenshire, seasonal garden waste points run every Saturday from 1 April until 28 October. They are located in Aboyne, Ballater, Balmedie, Blackburn, Inverbervie, Kemnay, Kintore, Mintlaw, Newmachar, Newtonhill, Oldmeldrum, and St Cyrus.

The 12 seasonal garden waste points are within settlements that are more than two miles from a household recycling centre and have 1,000 or more domestic properties. They are maintained using the Waste Service’s existing fleet and staff operating on a voluntary overtime basis.

Opening times for seasonal garden waste collection points can be checked via Aberdeenshire Council’s website. Please note no trailers or vans (except car-derived vans) are allowed and all garden waste needs to be bagged or in containers to allow it to be decanted quickly and easily into bins.

In addition to seasonal garden waste points, residents can recycle garden waste all year round at many of Aberdeenshire Council’s recycling centres.

Garden waste is a valuable resource in Aberdeenshire, which is recycled via Keenan Recycling. Because it is supplied purely as garden waste, it can be recycled in a sustainable open-windrow process that produces high-quality compost. It is then screened and sold to the agricultural or horticultural industry.

The most environmentally friendly option for disposing of garden waste is to encourage residents to compost at the source of the waste within their gardens.

Aberdeenshire Council can deliver a highly discounted home composting bin to residents from its limited stock. More details on pricing, sizes, availability, and how to order a home composting bin are available on the council’s website.

Councillors also noted that community composting guidance has been developed by Zero Waste Scotland, in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council. The website provides the area’s communities and organisations with a comprehensive guide to getting local composting projects up and running at

Community composting lets residents manage their garden waste efficiently while producing high-quality compost to use in local growing projects.

Reflecting on the committee meeting, Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee Councillor John Crawley said: “Putting that organic matter to work rather than into our waste bins is much better for our soils. It also helps to reduce the costs associated with disposal, which could be put to much better use elsewhere.”

Vice-chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: “Like with anything thing that goes to waste, it is best to first consider how to reduce it at the source. Creating compost from our own grass, clippings, and leaves is of great value to the health of a garden. It is a natural, sustainable way to improve soil quality and plant health.”