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Council considers closing five recycling centres

A Scottish council is considering cutting back on its recycling services, including the closure of five of its seven household waste recycling centres.

Angus Council’s communities committee has been recommended to back a shake-up of the borough’s services, with food and garden waste collections also affected, in an attempt to save money.

The committee will vote on the proposals, put forward by regulatory and protective services head Stewart Ball, at a meeting on 12 April.

Ball’s report recommends the closure of Brechin, Carnoustie, Forfar, Kirriemuir and Monifieth HWRCs, with two of them to be replaced by a larger facility servicing both areas.

It says each of the centres nominated for closure suffer from traffic congestion, delays for customers and limitation of opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials.

“None of the centres nominated for closure offers a particularly positive customer experience in their present condition, nor do they lend themselves to the significant level of refurbishment necessary to bring them up to an acceptable modern day standard.

“In the current financial climate, Angus Council can no longer afford to provide a recycling centre in each burgh town and, accordingly, the overall number of facilities has to be significantly reduced.”

It also recommends stopping garden waste collections during December and January while introducing a £25 annual charge for the previously free service.

Food waste collections have also been recommended for review, cutting the service from 3,500 households in rural areas.

Ball estimates a £258,000 annual saving from the recycling centre closures, with £393,000 from the garden waste change and £91,000 from food collections.

A spokesman for Angus Council said the changes were proposed because of “unprecedented budget cuts” but said it hoped to improve services ”so far as reasonably possible”.

“Various options have been explored regards the continued service provision, but what has been clear from the outset is that the status quo cannot be afforded or maintained.

“The strategic review of recycling centres, public toilets, food waste collection and garden waste collection has identified savings of more than £800,000 if proposed changes to service delivery are made.

“Decisions have not been easy, nor taken lightly, but harsh economic realities dictate that the council cannot afford to continue to provide the current level of service.”

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