Dereham’s new �1m recycling centre opens

A new �1m recycling centre has opened its doors in Dereham and is already proving popular.

The state-of-the-art facility, on the Trafalgar Business Park, will deal with 6,000 tonnes of rubbish a year and finally replaces the old site at nearby Beetley, which shut more than seven years ago.

Thousands of residents are now able to recycle a wide range of goods, including Christmas cards, trees and wrapping paper, seven days a week without having to travel to Hempton near Fakenham, Ashill near Swaffham or to Norwich.

The centre was officially opened by George Freeman on today (Friday) and was well-used on its first day, despite the freezing conditions.

Mr Freeman said: 'It's a top class facility that thousands of householders in mid Norfolk will welcome.

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'It will increase Norfolk's network of waste management, will have generated jobs during the construction phase, created new jobs at the centre itself and will be supporting additional supply chain jobs, too.

'This is exactly the type of activity that stimulates our economy and is particularly welcome during these difficult times.'

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Among those first to use the facility were Emma Hubbard and John Morgan, who had a car boot full of items to recycle including cardboard, bric-a-brac and unwanted children's toys.

'I'll come here every time I have a clear-out at home,' she said. 'I used to go to Norwich, which is quite a long drive away.'

Peter Crate, from Dereham, was recycling glass jars and bottles and was glad the centre had finally opened.

'It's been a long time coming, but it looks as if it's been well thought-out,' Mr Crate said. 'I went to Hempton before, which was a good half-an-hour away.'

Norfolk County Council is already looking ahead to its next planned project in Thetford where planning permission has just been granted for a replacement recycling centre, set to open in spring 2013.

County councillor Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste, said: 'Dereham Recycling Centre is the best of its type in our county and is designed to deal with 6,000 tonnes of household rubbish each year and recycle more than 70pc of it.

'It's part if a new generation of recycling centres which accepts everything from mobile phones to grass clippings and everything in between. It's taken some time to get it here because of issues with planning permission, but we managed to get it done on time and on budget.

'I'm very pleased with how it looks - the team has done a fabulous job - and I think it can be something Dereham can be proud of.'

Philip Duigan, county councillor for Dereham south, added: 'This is certainly an impressive site. Thanks to its design and the very wide range of recycling services on offer here, I am sure seasoned and new recyclers alike will find it easy to use - and a huge contrast to the old fashioned image of 'the waste tip'.'

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