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Groundbreaking recycling centre closes its doors

A charity that took over the running of a council household waste recycling centre has been forced to close the facility because of industry pricing trends.

Newmarket Open Door, which provides supported housing and training opportunities in the Suffolk town, announced the closure of the Newmarket Recycling Centre this week.

The centre was one of six facilities earmarked for closure by Suffolk Council in 2011. When it assumed management, Open Door began to charge for the disposal of non-recyclable waste, but accepted recyclabes free of cost.

Company secretary John Durrant told MRW that cost pressures related to current industry trends were to blame for the closure.

“Income from recyclates is going down but landfill costs are going up, and we simply can’t afford to operate the centre in the current climate,” he said.

“At the moment, scrap dealers are saying they do not want things that they would have been paying us £150 for this time last year.

“The final straw was a bill for insurance for the coming year that left us with no alternative but to close.”

Durrant said he was aware of only one other comparable third-sector venture across the country.

He added that despite an initial loss-making period when Open Door took over the facility, the business had been clearing a profit.

Durrant said he was hopeful of securing funding to allow the centre to reopen, but said that job losses were likely to result if support was not forthcoming.

Newmarket Recycling Centre is still included on a list of waste disposal facilities on Suffolk County Council’s website. The authority had not responded to MRW’s request for comment on the closure at the time of publication.

Newmarket Open Door said that while the recycling centre was closed to the public, staff were still working at the site. A recycling superstore operated by the charity remains open and accepts donations.

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