The leader of Angus Council has warned the cost of keeping the county’s recycling centres open will “pale into insignificance” next to spiralling waste disposal fees.
Councillor Bob Myles’ administration was last week criticised over steps to delay the axe falling on Monifieth recycling centre, along with other money-saving changes, for 12 months.
In 2016 the council approved the closure of Monifieth, reduced opening hours at Carnoustie and Brechin, and examination of a superskip for Kirriemuir and Forfar.
A last-minute full council motion to defer came about following closed-doors discussion on how much will be needed to incinerate non-recyclable material in Dundee.
The opposition SNP group of councillors said the £50,000 cost of a member-officer group (MOG), formed to come up with other ways to save £250,000 a year, was self-indulgent.
But Mr Myles said reducing the number of centres would be “folly” when residents are being asked to recycle more by the Scottish Government.
“There’s been a change in circumstances since the MOG first met,” he told The Courier.
“It’s come to light that our agreements to dispose of residual waste, which doesn’t get recycled, will become horrendous within five years.
“The amount we’re paying at the moment will skyrocket, which will make any small expenditure on recycling centres pale into insignificance.”
Angus residual waste is split between taxed landfill and the Dundee Energy Recovery Limited (DERL) in Baldovie, agreement on which is coming to an end.
Mr Myles said an agreement for the new Dundee City & Angus Residual Waste Project could cost up to £1 million.
“We’re putting a lot of it to the DERL plant, the agreement for which is very reasonable but is going to go up in the near future,” he added.
“The Scottish Government is looking at a brokerage agreement and we may take part in that.
“But no matter which way we go, it’s going to be a horrendous cost.
“The more we can get through our recycling centres, it’s a fraction of what it’ll cost for us to send away.”
Mr Myles, an independent councillor for Brechin and Edzell district, underlined a dedication that Brechin’s skip will return to normal opening hours as soon as possible.
“We are looking at contractual matters and Brechin will not lose out,” he said.