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Firm’s Expansion Creates Jobs Boost in Brechin

Brechin is set for a jobs boost with a paper recycling firm’s expansion north.

Highlander International Recycling hopes to create up to 20 new jobs with a £1.5 million investment in the town.

Angus planners have approved the East Kilbride company’s move to a gateway site at Brechin business park.

But the company’s hope of operating a split shift to handle post-pandemic demand has taken a dent after a 7pm curfew was imposed.

It is the latest stage of growth for a business which began in plastics recycling 20 years ago.

And it has grown to become Scotland’s largest privately owned paper processor.

The new plant will handle paper recycling for Highlander customers north of Perth.

They say it will reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

And the Angus expansion will free up capacity at its East Kilbride HQ.

Starting in plastics recycling in 2002, the firm now trades in multi-materials.

Around 100 containers a week are sent to paper mills in the UK, Europe and the Far East.

Its confidential waste shredding division, Highlander Security Shredding, was set up in 2016.

The company invested £150,000 at its East Kilbride base in the expansion.

And in 2020 it expanded into pallet recycling.

Highlander International expects to handle around 200 tonnes per week at Brechin.

It told planners: “As we are now almost at capacity at our East Kilbride recycling centre, our plan is to open a second site in Brechin.

“Here we will focus on more specialist services and high-grade paper recycling.”

Around 150 tonnes is end of paper reels from the Arjowiggins mill in Aberdeen.

The other 50 tonnes will be collected from offices for security shredding.

Paper is cut, baled and graded before being sent to a mill for pulping.

At its peak, there will be multiple small vehicle deliveries and two articulated truck movements daily.

The building will feature a ‘living wall’ on the frontage facing the business park entrance.

The original application sought operating hours of 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

Highlander altered the plan to a split shift from 6am to 4pm and 4pm to 1am Monday to Friday, and 6am to noon on Saturdays.

But officials who approved the application under delegated powers have stuck to the original hours.

They say noise from the plant could affect residents of hundreds of new homes due to be built on Dubton Farm land nearby.

The council said: “A noise assessment has not been provided.

“As such, environmental health has recommended the hours the development can operate be restricted to 7am to 7pm to ensure that activities within the site could co-exist with existing and future housing.”

But they say Highlander could be allowed to operate longer hours if they submit a noise assessment which shows there are no unacceptable impacts on nearby houses.

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