Preparations are underway for the closure of Sims Recycling Solution’s (SRS) Newport branch as the company streamlines its WEEE business in the UK.
Ninety-nine people have lost their jobs at the site in Wales, according to the GMB trades union, with 16 of the employees kept on while the plant is mothballed. The union’s regional organiser Jeff Beck expects that process to be finished by January or February.
Beck said a handful of staff had transferred to the company’s adjacent fridge recycling plant.
In June, Sims Metal Management, the world’s largest metals recycler, announced it would offload a “substantial portion” of SRS in the UK, and all of SRS in Canada, because legislation and market dynamics meant they were “commercially unattractive”.
A spokesperson for Sims Group UK told MRW that the first phase of its five-year strategic plan was to “streamline the business to achieve lower cost and higher margin operations”, resulting in the SRS division in the UK being “dramatically streamlined”.
The company’s Ellesmere Port branch in Cheshire is also earmarked for closure, while activity in Billingham, County Durham, has been reduced and operations in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, streamlined.
The SRS sites in Ashford, Middlesex, and Dumfries are unaffected.
“The SRS division is now moving towards business to business recycling and refurbishment of waste electrical and electronic equipment for large manufacturers and technology companies,” said the Sims spokesperson. “We provide the same great service and the streamlining process has made our operations more efficient.”