Poor support in Southwold leads to waste site hours cut

A BUSINESSESMAN who took over Southwold's household waste site voiced his disappointment this week at the lack of local support, as he announced plans to cut its opening times.

Graham Murray, of the Sole Bay Community Recycling Centre, said it was no longer financially viable to open on Sundays, and told of his dismay at the small number of people using the site over the winter.

Members of Southwold Town Council heard that Mr Murray would keep the business running throughout the spring in the hope of drawing more people in during the lighter, warmer evenings.

But he said he could only remain open if people used the site.

Mr Murray, who runs the nearby Sole Bay Car Parts in Southwold, said: 'Over the last few months it has been difficult because of the weather – we hope things will get better in the Spring time.

'We have closed on a Sunday because it is not financially viable to continue. I was disappointed we had to do so, but I didn't get a good response from people when we said we were going to charge them.'

The household waste site on Blyth Road was on a list of seven recycling centres in Suffolk earmarked for closure in May to help save Suffolk County Council �1.45m from its waste services budget.

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Had it closed, people in Southwold and Reydon warea would have forced a long drive to the nearest free-to-use, council-run sites in south Lowestoft and Leiston. But in the wake of a public protest, Mr Murray took over the centre as a commercial venture, while the land was gifted back to Southwold Town Council.

However, he warned that it would only be viable if people were willing to pay to dump their rubbish.

At a town council meeting last week, John Windell, the mayor of Southwold thanked Mr Murray for his efforts and praised the service his team were providing. He said: 'I have had some good comments come back to me about the service you are offering people down there. I also haven't heard of any fly tipping recently.'

While it was under county council control, the Southwold waste site was free to use and it was visted 44,200 times a year, processing 920 tonnes of waste.

It was reopened as Sole Bay Community Recycling Centre on August 15 and charges �3 for a car, �6 for an estate/MPV, �12 trailer and �20 for a van when dumping household waste.

Meanwhile, commercial waste charges are �20 for a car, �25 for an estate/MPV, �50 for a trailer or van.

The site currently opens from 9am to 4pm on Mondays and Saturdays.

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