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Council services hit as contractor enters administration

Administrators have been appointed to oversee the closure of Greenlight Environmental, a waste contractor for three Scottish councils, after a prospective buyer pulled out of a deal to save the troubled firm.

Greenlight, which provides services to West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde and Argyll & Bute councils, applied for voluntary administration in August after recording financial losses for the past few years.

Redundancy notices have been sent to 109 employees. West Dunbartonshire Council has warned residents of the closure of two recycling centres and the cessation of high-rise flats and glass collection services.

According to the administrators, Paul Dounis and Steven Ross of RSM Restructuring Advisory, an offer from an interested party to buy Greenlight was withdrawn after “advanced negotiations” had been held.

Dounis said: “It is with profound regret that a purchaser was unable to be found, which resulted in Greenlight Environmental entering administration and the immediate redundancy of all staff.

“We are working with local and national organisations including West Dunbartonshire Council, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment, the Job Centre and the Redundancy Payments Service to support the affected employees at this difficult time.”

“We are deeply disappointed by the withdrawal of a buyer for Greenlight.”

A West Dumbartonshire Council spokesperson said: “We are deeply disappointed by the withdrawal of a buyer for Greenlight, and recognise that the news will be a huge blow for workers and their families, many of whom live in West Dunbartonshire.

“Our employability team will be offering every support to affected staff in the coming days. As a council we will be working to ensure continuation of service provision.”

The business’s failure has drawn concern from local politicians, including Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie. 

West Dunbartonshire councillor David McBride called on the council to “explore the option of taking the services and jobs in-house within the council”. But local press has reported council leader Jonathan McColl as being cautious about taking such a step.

He said: “Greenlight failed for a reason. Whether that was down to running costs of its old-fashioned equipment or the crash in recyclable materials values, we must not burden the council with avoidable extra costs or liabilities.”

Greenlight was established in 1991 with council funding. It runs two MRFs and processes around 15,000 tonnes a year of material. It also runs an access to work scheme for young people who struggle to gain employment. 

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