Violent and aggressive visitors could be banned from Aberdeenshire recycling centres

A total of 23 incidents were reported at recycling centres in 2023
-Credit: (Image: Aberdeenshire Council)

Temporary or permanent bans can now be issued to violent or aggressive visitors to Aberdeenshire household recycling centres.

The move comes as council staff note an increase in incidents of violence towards them at centres across the north-east, prompting the move to introduce bans.

In 2023, 26 incidents of violence or aggression towards staff were reported across the whole Waste & Recycling Service—the equivalent of one every other week.

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Fifteen of the incidents took place at household recycling centres. Only four incidents were reported at household recycling centres in 2022, all of which were verbal abuse.

The ban will be determined based on the seriousness of the incident. In the event of the police being called for a serious incident, the ban will be immediate.

Councillor Alan Turner, Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), said: "Aberdeenshire Council has a strict zero tolerance policy regarding the safety of its staff.

"It is only right that bans can be issued to ensure this. Nobody deserves to face this type of behaviour. We should instead recognise the valuable contribution that our recycling centre staff make on our behalf every day."

ISC Vice Chair Councillor Isobel Davidson added: "There is no excuse for violence or aggression. Front line staff don’t make the rules; they are there to provide a valuable service and deserve to do so in a safe environment.

"It's time to cut out this unacceptable behaviour and ban those who are unable to conduct themselves responsibly."

The ability to ban individuals for violent or aggressive behaviour was added to the council’s Recycling Centre Policy at the recent Infrastructure Services Committee on Thursday, June 20.