A West-Yorkshire-based waste management firm has sent materials to landfill due to the economic downturn and made redundancies.
Pontefract Recycling Services director Philip Smith told MRW: We have had to reduce our workforce by a third before Christmas and make redundancies. But hopefully we will not have to make any more from now. We have saved costs by taking back office work in-house and driving our own trucks.
The price of materials, especially paper, cardboard and new PVC has gone down and the end markets are not there. So, we have to take some to landfill and landfill costs have gone up.
Smith added that the region has been affected by the downturn like any other region in the country. But said the market will be unstable for the next 18 months.
Pontefract Recycling has been established for eight years and segregates commercial waste and building materials. It also deals with skip hire.
Resource Efficiency Yorkshire supports recycling businesses in the region to grow their end markets. REY plastics project manager Steve Ogden said: In current economic conditions it is the lower quality material that is being sacrificed first by reprocessors. It is therefore crucial for collectors to clearly communicate the need for good quality segregation and clean feedstock when engaging with waste producers.
Recycling collectors achieving this are obtaining the better prices and maintaining their end-markets.
Smith also predicted that larger companies would suffer more during the recession than smaller ones as a lot of larger firms have experienced rapid growth on the back of loans, whereas, smaller ones have been more cautious.
Smith added that skip operators now have to be more cautious with whom they deal with to make sure we get paid for the job. He said: Construction work is down in Leeds, building for new flats has stopped and people are not adding new extensions to their homes. Companies are going bust and some are not paying people. Trusting in people is another problem that comes with the economic downturn.
There are difficult times ahead but one is confident that we will weather the storm and come out stronger from it.
Image: Pontefract Recycling Services truck
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