Explosive detonators spotted by sharp-eyed recycling staff
George Burgess and Jim Durkin found a metal box containing detonators at Keith Recycling Centre.
Council workers who spotted explosive detonators at a Moray recycling centre have been praised for having "averted a potential tragedy".
George Burgess and Jim Durkin found a metal box containing about 60 detonators at the facility in Balloch Road, Keith, as well as one containing a hand plunger that could have been used to set them off, and the cords needed to connect them.
Mike Neary, waste manager for Moray Council, hailed the actions of the quick-thinking workers, who called in the police, who in turn summoned the MoD bomb disposal unit in Edinburgh for assistance.
Mr Burgess called on his colleague Mr Durkin for help after he noticed two unusual metal boxes where small electrical items are left.
With one of the boxes having several wires protruding from it, Mr Durkin - who has a family background in the opencast mining industry - checked it.
Speaking about the detonators he found, the 51-year-old said: "These are very sensitive, small but powerful explosives that require a tiny electric current - or a spark - to set them off.
"If these had been processed as usual the people handling them further down the processing line could easily set them off, with devastating consequences.
"Even if they'd ended up in landfill, the machinery involved there would have easily triggered an explosion."
The recycling centre was closed off to the public after the explosive devices were uncovered on Wednesday.
Mr Neary said: "The team has no doubt seen many strange things being put to the recycling centre.
"So when they think there is something odd about an item, we take notice.
"We are so lucky to have such experienced people on the ground like Jim and George, I've no doubt they averted a potential tragedy further down the waste process."
There is no information as to who left the boxes for recycling, but the contents were of some vintage and are most likely to have been leftover from nearby quarrying sites.
They were later destroyed by the bomb disposal unit in a controlled explosion off site.