A new recycling centre welcomed it first customer through the gates moments after opening for the first time today (Thursday).

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The site, on Telford Way, Thetford, opened at 9am in place of the old one at Burrell Way which became too small to deal with demand.

The new centre will be able to cater for up to 500 cars per day, four times as many as the previous centre, includes a one-way road system to keep the traffic flowing and dedicated service areas so that the site doesn’t need to close when the bins need changing.

It is split-level, with some of the containers – for heavy and bulky recyclables – at a lower level so people can drop their items over the wall, eliminating the need to climb steps, and also features a Reuse Shop where people can donate and buy household items, with sales being used to generate a funding scheme to support local communities.

Norfolk county councillor for Thetford west, Mike Brindle, who opened the site with county councillor for Thetford east, Marion Chapman Allen, chairman of Norfolk County Council, Ian Monson and Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste, said: “I think the old site was totally inadequate.

“This has huge opportunities and it has the Reuse Shop which is great for Thetford and it has a better car park and it’s on a road which is easily accessible and it’s great to have in Thetford because it’s state of the art.”

Mrs Chapman-Allen added: “I think Thetford has always had excellent recycling rates and the other site was always busy. “This is going to be wonderful for Thetford and the fact it’s open for Christmas is excellent.”

The centre is the fourth purpose-built site to have been opened by Norfolk County Council as part of a £4m, four-year investment in modernising and expanding the county’s network of recycling centres.

Mr Monson said: “There’s growth here and Thetford always had a poor recycling centre in the past and I feel this area needs as much help as can be given by the county council to improve the standard of living as much as possible.”

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