Recycling rates have soared by a quarter since the roll out of new bins in Aberdeen it was revealed yesterday, as a new £27million waste facility opened.
Council co-leader Jenny Laing opened the new recycling plant in Altens, which will take the city’s waste and process it for re-use- the most advanced of its kind in Scotland.
She said the latest recycling rates since the roll out of a new bins in March shows 49% of the city’s waste is now being recycled – a 25% increase on the 2016 figure – and that the authority would now be saving around £6million a year in landfill taxes.
The new facility, which can process 20 tonnes of waste every hour and has created 47 new jobs, will work alongside the controversial £150million Tullos incinerator which will burn unrecyclable waste from the city, Aberdeenshire and Moray to create heat ahead of tough landfill laws coming in by 2020.
But critics have questioned whether the energy from waste plant will be made redundant by increased recycling rates before it even becomes operational.
Mrs Laing hailed the new facility and insisted that the incinerator would not become a white elephant due to rising recycling figures.
She said: “I think we have shown as a local authority that we want to be at the cutting edge, our waste strategy is ambitious and we want to make sure we are meeting the legislation coming forward from national government but also providing citizens with the opportunity to recycle more.
“We have seen the residents and businesses of Aberdeen embrace the new services that we’ve got. There will always be waste that we can’t recycle and we have to make sure we have provisions for that so we can meet the national targets that are coming forward.
“I’m confident we will be able to utilise both faciltiies to the full effect in the future.”
Developed by SUEZ recycling and recovery on behalf of the council, the new plant diverts 71,000 tonnes of Aberdeen’s waste from landfill every year.
Chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “This state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in Scotland and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK is delighted to be working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council in creating a society where there is no more waste. “