Midlothian Council has been announced as a finalist for the VIBES 2018 Scottish Environmental Business Awards.
The Unpaid Work (Community Payback) service will compete for the Green Team Award that rewards organisations who have worked as a team to deliver environmental improvements.
The team has responsibility for working with people who have committed an offence and are subject to a Community Payback Order. Working together, they take on a huge variety of small construction and maintenance projects every year across Midlothian.
The service has transformed since 2015 when the team began to take a green approach to the work by maximising use of upcycled materials, creating a more environmentally friendly workshop and providing opportunities for biodiversity. In doing so, they’ve reduced their annual cost of materials by an estimate of 85%, allowing them to deliver more for less.
Beneficiaries to-date include schools and nurseries across Midlothian, local third sector organisations and vulnerable groups. They also work to improve community spaces such as parks, walkways and train stations, by donating items such as bird boxes, planters and benches that they create out of recycled materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.
The team caught the judges eye this year with a greenhouse made of recycled plastic bottles and planters resembling ‘Minions’ and ‘Olaf’ from Disney’s Frozen.