SIX staff from Irvine’s dump have been suspended after allegedly running a money-making cash-for-trash scam.

Workers at Bartonholm Recycling Centre were said to have been pilfering materials like copper piping, old televisions and car batteries and selling them on for cash.

The staff were apparently caught out last week when someone made an allegation against them and North Ayrshire Council bosses called the police in to investigate.

A source said: “It was a well-planned operation.

“It’s been going on for a while and it’s understood that thousands of pounds in trash was taken.

“Word is they were selling copper from discarded pipes and other fittings to the scrappy.

“The batteries, including car ones, could be sold to motor stores and TVs are worth cash.

“But the bosses got wind of it. The place is covered in CCTV cameras so those are a key part of the internal investigation.

“It just goes to show that one man’s rubbish really is another man’s treasure.”

Copper can be sold to scrap yards for around £3 a kilogram — £3,000 per tonne.

Bartonholm is busier than ever after NAC chiefs closed down the Dreghorn Recycling Centre.

Chief Inspector Brian Shaw from Irvine Police Office confirmed police were investigating.

He said: “North Ayrshire Council have contacted the police to report their concerns relating to potential criminality at the site and we are working with them to carry out an investigation in to the matter.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson refused to comment specifically on the investigation.

He said: “We don’t comment on matters relating to individual employees.”