Additional staff are being recruited for Aberdeenshire’s recycling centres to help householders recycle even more.
On average, 63% of materials taken to centres in the area are recycled, with rates varying from 47% to 72% at the various locations.
The aim is for all recycling centres to reach 75% by 2023.
Up to 20 new staff are due to be in place by mid-September and will provide advice and assistance to householders about what can be recycled.
The additional roles are part of package of improvements agreed by councillors in January.
However, a new permit scheme is also being introduced to move business waste away from recycling centres to create more space for new recyclable materials to improve services to householders.
While most businesses pay the necessary fees to dispose of their waste and recycling responsibly, the current open access to recycling centres means some business waste is being presented as household waste so that it can be processed free of charge.
To tackle this, a new permit scheme is one of the measures being introduced next year to prevent such abuse. Under the new scheme householders using commercial type vehicles - vans, pick-ups, minibuses or trailers - to take materials to recycling centres will require a permit to do so.
The permits will be free of charge and can be used at any of the 15 recycling centres operated by the council.
Households will be able to apply for the free permits in advance and a year’s supply (24 permits) will be issued at one time to minimise inconvenience.
Permits can be applied for online or by post at any time of the year and will be valid for 12 months.
Aberdeenshire Council does not expect the new scheme to have an impact on most householders as permits will not be required for cars, estate cars, people carriers, MPVs or 4x4s, unless they tow a trailer or a horse box.Permits can be obtained for trailers up to 6 x 8 ft in size.
Certain types of vehicle typically used by businesses will not be permitted at HRCs, specifically those over 3.5 tonnes gross weight, tippers, tractors, large trailers (over 6 x 8 ft) and vehicles with twin wheels or more than four wheels.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “The approval of the new permit system is very good news as it will allow us to make space for more recyclable materials at recycling centres and improve services for householders.
“Most households will not be affected by the permit system at all as cars, estate cars, people carriers, MPVs and 4x4s will continue to have unlimited access to recycling centres.
“We are keen to minimise inconvenience to those householders who use commercial type vehicles or trailers to take materials to recycling centres.
"Only one application is required to get a year’s supply of permits and we have also increased the number of permits to 24 per year to make sure householders have enough permits to cover the grass cutting season.
“We will be communicating the details of the new permit scheme over the coming months, so there will be plenty of time to apply for the permits before the new scheme starts.
“Businesses will be provided an alternative service at waste transfer stations, and with a lower price for recycling, will be encouraged to segregate and recycle as much of their waste as possible.
“We will be monitoring closely how the new schemes settle in and can tweak them in future based on feedback received.
More information about the new recycling permit scheme is available on www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/recyclingcentrepermits