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New plant a "stepping stone" for the East of England

A new 50,000 tonnes per annum recycling facility has been heralded as a stepping stone for the East of Englands drive towards meeting 2015 Landfill Diversion targets.

The areas waste management strategy has identified the need for 60 similar facilities if it is to meet requirements, with environmental consultant WISER conscious of the work ahead.  

Its latest project, a site which will provide state of the art resource recovery for kerbside collected paper, cardboard, plastic and cans has just gained planning permission and will be operated by Freedom Recycling near Thetford in Norfolk.

WISER consultant Charles Thomas said: This is the first site we have worked on for the company and hopefully it will be a stepping stone for the area. All you can do is hope your business model takes off.

It is well reported that the planning process takes time, with things like the internet and media creating more public interest. But we didnt suffer as much as some as we covered all technicalities in the process.

With a broad client base, the firm is working on a number of projects in the area such as a composting plant. But while the Freedom site- which will also process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment- has left it confident of playing its part in the region, Thomas suggested that there is a need for more decision makers in the sector.

He added: It is our job to guide companies, to rationalise the process, gaining planning and waste management licences at the start and making the timescale shorter. But there is a lot of pressure on planning officers, and the sector is not adequately staffed.

Hopefully we can get sites passed in as short a time as possible, but its nearly 2007 and seven years is not a long time. It takes 12-24 months to identify the site, and then gain a permit, so 2015 will soon creep up.


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