‘Van-tastic’ boost for recycling project

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Normally two wheels are better than four, but not so for an Angus bike recycling project which officially took possession of a brand new electric van last week.

Thanks to a £65,000 grant social enterprise project the Angus Cycle Hub has been able to acquire an environmentally friendly electric van, the keys for which were ceremonially presented on Friday at the Arbroath Recycling Centre.

The grant was secured from the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund which is administered in our area by the Angus Environmental Trust.

As well as the van the £65,000 was used to fund two full-time roles for a year at the project and tooling costs to increase the number of bikes that the Angus Cycle Hub can recycle.

The electric van has actually been in operation since last month but has already been well used and should be making a big contribution to the project’s green agenda.

Angus Cycle Hub director Scott Francis told the Herald: “We got the van in February and we’ve already done 1400 miles. That has been on picking up bikes from the recycling centres and going out to schools with bikes for the bikeability programme.

“It’s put us in a really good stead. We didn’t think we’d get as much use from it as we have.

“Last year 19,000kgs of carbon emissions were saved through behaviour change and switching to bikes and hopefully this new van will add to that as we won’t have to use the big van so much.”

Dr Marshall Halliday, director of Angus Environmental Trust, said: “Angus Cycle Hub is a tremendous project.

“It capitalises on the increased interest in cycling in the UK, it is beneficial for people’s health and it is beneficial for the environment.

“It is an ideal project for us to support and we’re delighted with how it is progressing.”

As a result of its cycling initiatives within the local community the project has also recently been awarded a prestigious Silver, Cycle Friendly Communities Award from Cycling Scotland, a first for the Angus region.