Replacement community recycling centre opens near Beccles

THE gates may have closed on the Beccles Household Waste Recycling Centre site this week but yesterday a skip company expanded its business by providing a replacement community recycling centre.

The centre, at B and B Skip Hire at Beccles Business Park in Ellough, was officially opened by Beccles Town Mayor Brian Woodruff.

He said: 'We are confident B and B Skips will be able to offer an efficient, safe and comprehensive service to the community.

'Unfortunately there is going to have to be a small charge for the use of this facility, which is not ideal, but it does at least give the public an alternative to having to drive to Lowestoft which is costly in respect of petrol and also people's time.

'B and B Skips came up with all the answers and I really am proud to open this site.'

Suffolk County Council (SCC) announced earlier this year it had to close seven of its 18 household waste recycling centres as part of its �42m budget cuts.

The Beccles site was one of seven earmarked for closure in July. However, with funding from Waveney District Council, the site remained open until an alternative approach was sourced.

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It was decided that a recycling centre would operate from B and B Skip Hire and it is currently running a six-month trial to provide a more local service for those who are unable to get to the free site at Lowestoft easily.

B and B Skip Hire's managing director Steve Lake said: 'It's something we are giving to and for Beccles and hopefully it should go for a long time. We had 11 customers turn up on our first morning.'

Other official guests at the opening included SCC leader Mark Bee and the portfolio holder for waste, Lisa Chambers.

Director Shaun Lake added: 'We feel that the prices on the gate are reasonable. The former site at Beccles was achieving around 63pc recycling rate but we are hoping to achieve 90pc. With the support from people in Beccles and the surrounding areas it's something to be proud of. The days of free tipping are over I'm afraid.'

The company, which also celebrated 25 years of business this week, have extended their present site to accommodate the new recycling centre. There are also plans to introduce a number of improvements to the existing site including having a one-way traffic system and lower-sided skips to make it easier for people to use.

The company also have planning permission to build a refuse directed fuel, which they hope to start late 2012.

Shaun added: 'We are sorry the current [people] have lost their job. It's not all victorious for us.'

The Beccles site closed on Monday and one onlooker reported that people were bringing the staff cards and leaving presents.

• It is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm at weekends and bank holidays. Prices are �4 for a car, �6 for an estate, �10 for a smaller trailer or van and �15 for a large trailer.

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