More bin changes ahead for Angus residents in bid to increase recycling rates

A controversial “baby bins” recycling scheme will be rolled out to almost 50,000 homes in Angus next year.

The size of the general waste bin will be shrunk to almost half as the number of recycling bins increases under new collection arrangements.

An earlier trial of 5,000 homes came under fire for reducing the size of the general waste bin, though the council claimed it was a success with recycling rates up from 18% to 55%.

An Arbroath community stalwart is warning the changes could impact on larger families, saying “baby bins” could also lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

Pat Millar, former chairwoman of Arbroath Community Council and a member of the Arbroath Fairtrade Action Group, said: “They’ll have to give families the option of larger ones … A family with small babies and nappies might have difficulties.

“But on the whole I am all for trying to encourage more people to recycle.”

Convener of neighbourhood services Donald Morrison said the move was required to reduce the council’s landfill tax burden.

He said: “We need the cooperation from households to ensure our recycling rates increase and less waste goes to landfill, meaning less money paying for waste going into the ground.”

Landfill tax is set to increase from £72 per tonne to £80 a tonne in April.

The council collects around 40,000 tonnes of general waste a year, meaning a potential tax liability of £3.2 million.

The first phase of the roll-out covers the 23,755 households served by Arbroath and Carnoustie depots.

An initial letter to households will go out at the end of February next year, with the new bins distributed on the week beginning March 10 and first collections of the new service the following week.

Phase two, affecting the 16,412 homes served by the Forfar depot, will see bins distributed on the week of June 16, then the new collections starting from June 23.

The final phase, concerning the 13,307 homes served by the depot in Montrose, will see bins distributed on September 22 and collections from September 29.

Angus Council’s communities director Alan McKeown said the reason for selecting Arbroath and Carnoustie for phase one was because the trial was carried out in this area.

He said leaving Montrose depot to last will allow vehicles from this area the option of going to either Forfar or Arbroath to tip, depending on proximity of collection route.

A tender process will determine the company that provides the materials recovery facility.

Recyclates from the trial went to a facility in north Wales.

Only around 700 households in the most remote areas of Angus have been excluded from the new arrangement.

The current grey general waste bin, which is 240 litres, will become the bin for dry recyclables like plastics, cans, paper and cardboard.

A new 140-litre purple bin will become the general waste bin and an additional food waste caddy also supplied.

The garden waste bin will be unchanged.

Selling the recyclable materials is expected to generate income of around £55,000 a year.