Coronavirus (COVID-19)

View updates on council services. If you are affected and need assistance, please visit Grampian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Hub.


Waste and recycling services - Coronavirus

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have had to suspend certain waste and recycling services. We are working to minimise the impact on communities by recruiting staff from other areas of the council but we expect there will be some delays and disruptions to our services over the coming weeks and months. We will continue to follow government guidance, particularly on discouraging non-essential travel (we should only go out for food, health reasons and work, if home-working is not possible). Recycling centres will remain closed until the guidance on essential travel changes. We thank you for your continued patience and cooperation during this difficult time.


On this page you can find out about the current service arrangements (we update this information regularly):

We also post the latest news and arrangements on our Facebook page.

If you are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, please watch our video explaining current arrangements for waste and recycling services. You can also contact us via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, an online British Sign Language interpreting service.


Household recycling centres

Most recycling centres will reopen on Monday, 1st June 2020 with extended opening hours, however, this is not a return to business as usual.

As many residents have been storing waste at home whilst the centres were closed, the following measures will be in place initially to ensure that as many residents as possible can safely use the recycling centres:

  • You need to book a time slot to visit a recycling centre - this is to maintain physical distancing to protect both visitors and staff, to reduce waiting times and to avoid build-up of traffic on the neighbouring roads
  • We can only accept cars and pick-ups - no trailers or vans (except car-derived vans), as due to their size, they reduce the number of visitors we can have at the centres at any one time whilst maintaining physical distancing
  • The materials are limited to bagged non-recyclable waste, electrical items (plug in) and bagged garden waste (bags to be emptied into the skips)
  • New bays have been created to aid physical distancing – please check updated site layouts before your visit

Residents should only visit a recycling centre if it is absolutely essential, that is to dispose of waste that cannot be safely stored at home or to dispose of large electrical items ( such as fridges, freezers).

We are hoping to accept more materials and larger vehicles in future, however, we have to ensure that our reprocessing contractors are able take the materials we collect. The booking system is expected to be in place as long as physical distancing measures are required.

We have seen an increase in the number of complaints regarding householders burning garden waste and compost. View our advice on smoke from bonfires and neighbourhood issues.

Kerbside collections

All bin collections are currently operating as normal. Please put out your containers for collection for 7am on your collection day as there may be changes to your collection time. As we are redeploying staff from other services, it might not be your usual crew that empties your bin – please make sure you put your bin out in a clearly visible place. 

Please look out for your neighbours and check they are able to put their bins out. Also, please leave enough space for the bin lorry to get through by parking off street on your bin day if at all possible.

If we miss your bin, please check for updates on our Facebook page and sign up for bin notifications on myAberdeenshire mobile app. As we are experiencing staff shortages due to COVID-19, please help us by only reporting a missed bin if you do not have enough space in your bin to last until your next scheduled collection day.

All waste must be contained within the bins – we do not accept side waste as handling bags directly is a health risk to bin crews.

You are responsible for the waste you produce. Please dispose of it properly. To save space in your bins, avoid buying items with excessive packaging where you can, squash air out of plastic bottles, stack plastic pots inside each other, put paper and card inside a cereal box, squeeze air out of non-recyclable waste bags and compost your garden waste at home.

Bin crews provide a critical service to empty bins to ensure public health is maintained. Please let them get on with their essential job – keep a safe distance away.

Ballater Saturday collection point

The Saturday collection point at Church Square car park and roads depot on South Deeside Road in Ballater has been suspended until further notice.

Bulky items collections

Bulky waste uplifts are suspended from 19th March 2020 until further notice. We will do our best to honour the bookings already made and paid for.

Assisted collections

Due to changes in staff, waste and recycling assisted collections may be collected by a different crew and at a different time. Please make sure your containers are easily accessible and visible. We may have to change where we collect and return your bins from and to.

What to do with your rubbish if you have COVID-19 symptoms

All contaminated waste (for example tissues, cleaning cloths, wipes and masks) must be double-bagged and both bags used tied. Keep the double-bagged waste for 72 hours in a place that can't be accessed by other people or pets, before putting the double-bagged waste in your non-recyclable waste bin. The bin can then be put out for collection as normal.

Seasonal garden waste points

Our garden waste points are suspended until further notice.

Textile banks

Textile banks are not being emptied. Please don't leave bags of textiles in front of the banks if they are full, please take them home and store them until after the crisis is over.

Bin delivery and repair

Repair and replacement of green food caddies, blue and black bins and uplifts of any unwanted waste containers is suspended. We are prioritising delivery of containers to new build houses and to replace bins damaged by collection lorries.

Compost bin sales

Compost bin sales are suspended for now. Please use a compost heap instead for your garden waste or search online for ideas for a DIY compost bin.

Litter, dogs bins and street cleansing

There will be reduced street cleansing, including street sweeping and litter bin emptying. Please take litter and dog waste home with you where possible.

Community events and litter picks

All public events hosted by our Community Waste Officers have been cancelled for the meantime.

East Grampian Coastal Partnership – Turning the Plastic Tide – have cancelled all beach cleans. Keep Scotland Beautiful have suspended Keep Scotland Clean 2020 events, so we can't support community litter picks. This includes loans of litter pickers, collection and disposal of collected litter.