Case Study - Waste benefiting the community

Established nearly 30 years ago, Scotland’s most successful community recycling business has come a long way from its roots as a volunteer-based charity supporting people with mental health problems readjusting to life back in the community.


ACE Recycling Group, a community-interest company based in Clackmannanshire is a thriving waste management business, providing services to private and public sector across the Central Belt region.  As a third sector organisation, its profits are targeted back into the social needs of the communities it operates in, and, it is dedicated to providing supported employment, training and increasing environmental awareness to drive down waste.

The business has a long-established relationship with local authorities in the surrounding area, with a particularly good association with Clackmannanshire Council which recognises ACE’s ability to deliver social benefits while providing commercially-sound waste management services to local communities.

To benefit from public sector business, ACE has used PCS since the portal’s launch in 2008. It currently attributes 40 per cent of its £1.5 million turnover to public sector contracts, with recent contract awards through the portal with Link Housing Association and Central Scotland Fire and Rescue.  In order to expand the reach of the business, ACE has successfully secured Enterprise Growth Funding from the Scottish Government which will enable it to develop strategic partnerships with other third sector businesses to deliver coordinated services across Scotland.

Malcolm McArdle, managing director for ACE, said: “A good balance of public and private sector customers is essential for the sustainability and success of the business. PCS allows us to access opportunities from a range of public sector organisations and we currently target an average of seven contract opportunities a year.

“The business offers a high level of flexibility in terms of source-separated services which makes ACE a very cost-effective solution for many organisations committed to recycling waste as efficiently as possible.

“The development of a wider partnership with other social enterprise businesses will allow us to target larger contracts across Scotland. Not only will this strengthen the business, but it will allow us to deliver added value to communities by offering more apprenticeships, employability training and skills to those struggling to enter mainstream job opportunities.”