Replacement �1.1m recycling centre planned

A �1.1m new recycling centre is planned in Thetford to replace the town's outdated and under-performing waste facilities.

Norfolk County Council's cabinet met on Monday to discuss a painful programme of spending cuts and job losses in a proposed budget for the forthcoming year, which could see capital spending slashed from �205m to �75m.

But council leader Derrick Murphy's report said, that despite the vastly reduced funds, there would still be money available for some infrastructure projects – including a recycling centre on the Telford Way Industrial Estate, off Mundford Road.

If approved, �400,000 of the centre's cost would come from the county's shrinking capital budget, with the remaining �700,000 available from a ring-fenced waste infrastructure grant.

The planned centre would replace the existing Thetford Recycling Centre on Burrell Way which, despite being the smallest in Norfolk, still handles the fourth highest tonnage of waste at 4,000 tonnes a year.

The limited capacity of the site has led to frequent queues of traffic and a comparatively poor recycling rate.

A county council spokesman said: 'This is part of the county council's strategy for maximising recycling and minimising the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, which is subject to escalating landfill tax costs.

Most Read

'The proposed new centre would be much bigger, with space for four times as many visiting vehicles, and designed for easy use. It would also feature the largest re-use shop in the county.'

Ann Steward, Norfolk's cabinet member for sustainable development, said: 'We are looking all the time at anything we can do to enhance the facilities and ways we can help people to recycle more.

'People in Thetford wanted to get more involved in recycling and the site we had in place was not able to do as much as we, or they, would have liked.

'So this new centre is excellent news for the town.'

Thetford mayor Pauline Quadling said: 'I would rather the money could be used elsewhere, because we have old people losing meals on wheels, and there are cuts coming in youth services.

'But if this money has been set aside for this specific purpose, then it is good that it is going to be used here. We certainly need it.'

Norfolk's cabinet agreed to recommend the plan for approval by the full county council. It is hoped that, subject to all necessary approvals, construction work will start in the autumn with the centre opening for use in the summer of 2012.