3-weekly bin collections

A new kerbside collection service is rolling out across Aberdeenshire. Once the change happens in your area, one of three bins will be collected each week on a new three-weekly cycle:

  • The blue-lid recycling bin becomes for paper, card, and cardboard only
  • A new orange-lid recycling bin is for metal tins, cans, aerosols and foil, food and drink cartons, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays
  • The black refuse bin remains for non-recyclable waste only

There are no changes to food and battery collections, which are still collected each week. If you need a food waste caddy, you can get these from your local household recycling centre

What goes where

Households can also check our A to Z of waste and recyclable items to find out what is accepted in each bin.

A to Z of waste and recyclable items

Collection dates

Your bins are collected on the same day of the week, with each bin being collected every 3 weeks: 

  • Blue-lid bin recycling
  • Orange-lid bin recycling
  • Black refuse bin

Food caddy and battery bags collected weekly.

Check your bin days

If you have the myAberdeenshire app, you can get reminders when your bins are due for collection.

If you are new to 3-weekly collections, please refer to the calendar in your service letter to understand when bins are due for collection. Bin collections on the myAberdeenshire app and this website are in the process of being updated. They will become accurate once the new service begins in your area.

If you have not received the letter yet, there is no need to worry and no need to get in touch. It’s just not time yet for your area to switch to the three-week collection cycle.

If you are already on a three-weekly collection cycle, the myAberdeenshire app and the website will show accurate collection details.

What you need to do

After a switch to three-weekly collections in your area, any blue-lid bin that is not used for paper, card, and cardboard only will be rejected by collection crews to keep contamination to a minimum. Your individual service letter, direct to your household, will indicate the last day that your blue-lid bin can be used for mixed recycling.

Please note that your bin collection day may change as a result of the rollout. The calendar within your individual service letter will show you the correct day to put out your bins.

How we inform households

You should be on the lookout for a teaser postcard that will indicate that the change will soon apply to your home. A letter will follow that includes a new service booklet with everything you need to know about the changes. It includes:

  • When to expect delivery of the new orange-lid bin
  • The last time you can use the blue-lid bin for mixed recycling
  • When to start using your new orange-lid bin

If you need more recycling bins

If you feel you need an additional recycling bin, please allow for three cycles (nine weeks) of using the new service first to ensure you are maximising the available capacity before requesting another orange or blue-lid bin.

Trade customers

Up-to-date information about how the changes affect our trade customers is being sent directly to them. So that the latest information about the new service is received, our trade customers should ensure that their contact details are up-to-date with us at trade.waste@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

Trade customers will ultimately be charged for each bin they have, so businesses should consider how they will internally separate their recycling and reduce their waste before the rollout progresses into their area.

Trade customers should also ensure that their waste is correctly separated before their first collection on the new cycle to avoid being charged for a rejected collection.

Funding the change

Aberdeenshire Council welcomed £3.4 million in funding from Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling Improvement Fund to progress the change in alignment with Scotland’s Charter for Household Recycling.

The charter seeks consistency and greater value from local authority recycling by improving the quality and contamination levels of the materials collected.

Why the change is happening

In 2018, 21% of Scotland’s waste was from households. However, household waste generally includes materials with higher carbon content such as food, paper, and plastics when compared to construction, demolition, commercial, or industrial waste. As such, household excess actually accounted for 55% of the nation’s carbon emissions from waste in 2018.

In Aberdeenshire, more than 66% of what households collectively send to landfill can be recycled, and around half of that can be recycled using the available bin collections from the kerbside.

The Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan and Managing Waste Policy set out targets to recycle 70% of all waste and reduce the percentage of waste sent to landfill down to 5% by 2025.

There has been little change in recycling rates across Aberdeenshire in five years, meaning a shift needs to happen to help everyone play their part in reducing our impact on the environment.

In addition to the environmental benefits of the new collection cycle, segregating paper and cardboard recycling at the source will:

  • improve the quality of what is recycled
  • reduce contamination and the resulting clean fibre can avoid a costly additional sorting process

As a result of these changes, the council could save up to £765,000 every year, which would help to subsidise disposal costs that have been increasing steadily over recent years.

Timeline for the rollout

The rollout began in April 2023 in Kincardine and Mearns and is expected to take until April 2024 to complete.

Please see our kerbside collection changes FAQs (PDF 355KB) for more information.