Plans to reduce recycling centres

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Angus Council’s communities committee has been recommended to agree to the closure of several recycling centres in the county.

The move is part of a shake-up of recycling service in the county and will be discussed at the committee’s meeting on Tuesday, April 12.

The proposal would see the closure of the Brechin, Carnoustie and Monifieth centres, with Forfar and Kirriemuir also closing a new centre built to service the two towns.

The Arbroath and Montrose centres are to be redeveloped, with Brechiners expected to use the Montrose facility, and locals in Carnoustie will be expected to use the Arbroath centre. The council has noted the possibility of making the Monifieth site available for community use.

The report, written by Stewart Ball, head of regulatory and protective services, said each of the centres earmarked for closure suffer from “traffic congestion, delays for customers, and limitation of opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials”.

The report also explains that the local authority can “no longer afford to provide a recycling centre in each burgh town”.

Works to upgrade Arbroath and Montrose centres would include allowing a wider range of recycling containers to be provided, including re-use areas. In the report, Mr Ball continued: “The works would also introduced the separation of operational and customer vehicles on site enabling centres to remain open while skips are being transferred and avoiding significant time delays to visiting customers.”

While Edzell’s recycling centre is currently operated by Edzell Village Improvement Society (EVIS), the report proposed that the servicing of skips at the centre will have to be stopped to “realise the reduction in staffing and transport costs”. Mr Ball added in the report that “EVIS will be consulted” on the proposal.

Explaining some of the reasons that the plans are the preferred option, Mr Ball explains that three facilities is “a more appropriate number” for a population the size of Angus. The change would also mean no change to opening hours or days, and that it would “provide consisted and improved facilities” at the remaining centres.

The report also outlined the estimated saving from the move would be an on-going amount of £258,000 from the communities directorate’s revenue budget.

The review of waste management services also outlines plans to introduce a garden waste subscription service during this summer. It will be offered to those who currently receive a kerbside garden waste collection. The report explained: “Householders would be requested to make an annual payment either online or by telephone.”

The annual charge would be £25. This would allow for an estimated ongoing saving of £393,000.

Food waste collection would also be withdrawn from some rural areas as part of the plan, in order to make an estimated annual saving of £88,000. Mr Ball explained: “It is proposed that the food waste collection service is only provided to households in towns and larger villages.”

It is estimated that around 3,500 households would see their food waste service being withdrawn.

Plans for two ‘superloos’ in the county to be made into unattended facilities has also been outlined in the proposals. The facilities at Reform Street, Kirriemuir, and Church Street, Brechin, would be changed from full time attended facilities, to unattended facilities with cleaning contracted to Tayside Contract. Five unattended toilets facilities - The Den Kirriemuir, Dall’s Lane Brechin, Norries Road Westhaven, Arbroath Road Forfar and Tay Street Monifieth - have also been proposed for closure. This move is expected to result in an estimated ongoing saving of £74,000.

A spokesman for Angus Council said: “A comprehensive strategic review of waste management services was undertaken against a background of unprecedented budget cuts.

“Achieving necessary savings has been the priority for this review. But the proposals that go before committee are also aimed at protecting statutory function, as well as maintaining and improving front-line services so far as reasonably possible.

“We must re-model the service so that it can continue to deliver a high quality, best value service to the public, to achieve necessary savings and efficiencies.

“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.

“Staff and local elected members have been informed of possible changes to service delivery during this process.

“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.”