The shake-up of Angus skip sites has reaped a top UK award for the local authority as recycling rates rocket.
Angus Council was named as the local authority success story award winner in the 2020 National Recycling Awards, the only Scots council shortlisted in the UK scheme.
The awards recognise councils which have put in place an initiative to drive significant success in recycling, reuse or waste prevention performance while offering public value for money.
It comes three years after community protests in smaller burghs over the controversial revamp.
All seven Angus skips sites were the subject of a major redesign, including a six-figure redevelopment of the Forfar facility on Queenswell Road.
But the 2018 move provoked controversy with the removal of general waste skips from smaller centres as part of the drive to encourage recycling, rather than reducing the number of facilities.
Customers were directed to the three largest centres at Forfar, Arbroath and Montrose to dispose of general waste where there was space for a full range of recycling containers and more staff available to provide advice and direction.
The changes have seen annual recycling rates at Angus centre jump from 51% to 63% in 2019/20.
On a wider front, Angus is second out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities in the household recycling league table.
The area also directs rubbish away from landfill through its agreement with the Baldovie waste-to-energy plant in Dundee.
Awards judges said: “This is a council that bucked the trend and had the strength of mind to resist the obvious solution of cutting back, instead really reshaping its service to keep it open.”
Communities convener, Councillor Mark Salmond said: “We are thrilled to win the local authority success award.
“This is a massive achievement for the people of Angus who have been exceptional at recycling as much as they can when visiting our centres.
“I’m also delighted staff have been recognised for transforming our facilities to offer maximum recycling opportunities for our residents. The commitment from our recycling staff at our recycling centres is inspirational.”
The MRW National Recycling Awards bring together recycling and waste management professionals to recognise and celebrate best practice and innovation.