The Coalition running Redcar and Cleveland Council is celebrating Beacon Council status in recognition of its waste and recycling management services.
The Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Local Government Minister Phil Woolas congratulated the Council for delivering quality public services at the seventh annual Beacon Scheme awards ceremony in London.
The Council, one of only four across the North East to receive recognition of their work from 239 applications nationwide, will get a share of a £3million kitty to actively promote good practice, working with the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) on learning events and open days.
The Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Improvement Councillor Bob Stanway said: "This award is a tribute to all the hard work and dedication of our staff and partners - and the enthusiasm and support of all our residents to embrace the new recycling regimes and our area-based working to deliver a cleaner, safer, greener Borough.
"We regard Beacon Council status as a chance to develop more and more green thinking and encourage as many councils as possible to believe they can effect change as successfully as we have done. In fact, we are further developing our recycling scheme in line with best practice from elsewhere which goes to show that we continue to listen and learn as well."
Mr Prescott said: "Beacon authorities help to create sustainable communities by embedding good practice across local government for the delivery of high quality public services. I hope that other authorities will be encouraged to look at what they can learn from these Beacons."
Mr Woolas said: "The fact is that the best of local government rivals, and sometimes beats, the best of business.
"Beacons encourage strong, efficient local leadership which is essential if local government is to continue delivering successful services for our communities."
*The Council's application was shortlisted by an independent Advisory Panel, who make recommendations to Ministers, who then make final decisions.
The Coalition is made up of 16 Lib Dems, 13 Conservatives and 2 East Cleveland Independents.