�600,000 Caister plant can end recycling queues

A NEW �600,000 recycling centre is planned at Caister aimed at ending local frustration with closures and queues and diverting more rubbish away from landfill.

Officials say the facility has outgrown its home of 25 years and that the necessary closures – often four times a day – are putting people off and possibly adding to fly-tipping.

The new facility, to be built on the adjacent highways depot site in Pump Lane, will be one of the most advanced in Norfolk on a bigger footprint which will be more clearly laid out and easier to negotiate.

Crucially, traffic will flow in a one-way system around a central hub of bins, allowing them to be changed and emptied without closing the site.

The household recycling centre at Caister is the busiest outside Norwich, but has poor re-cycling rates due in part to operational problems at the compact site.

Dan Jacobs, county waste infrastructure manager, said the new facility, which could be open as early as next autumn, would be among the most modern in Norfolk, adding: “It’s something we have been wanting to do something about for a long time.”

“Over the last seven or eight years we have offered more and more recycling, which means more bins to empty and more temporary closures three or four times a day for half an hour each. If you are at the back of that queue it can be longer, and create a real bottleneck.”

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The new facility aims to end local frustration, benefit the environment and cut the �1.8m it costs the council to send waste to landfill.

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste said: “Caister recycling centre is Norfolk’s busiest site outside of Norwich because it handles the biggest amount of waste.

“But it’s renowned for queues to get into it, and congestion once on it – factors which unquestionably affect its recycling rates which is below average for the county’s network. The new scheme that we are proposing directly addresses these problems, and will make it much easier for residents to use. If planning permission is granted, it will turn the centre into one of Norfolk’s most advanced recycling facilities.

“Our investment in an all-new Caister recycling centre will make it much easier for people to help boost Norfolk’s recycling rates.

“It is part of our commitment to provide high quality facilities that support residents’ recycling efforts, push up re-use and recycling rates in the county and reduce the amount of rubbish we dump in landfill – which hurts our environment and costs us dearly because of escalating government landfill tax.”

The design for the new site is based on the tried and tested layout at Norfolk’s most modern facility at King’s Lynn which was opened in 2008.

This is also the model for the brand new site currently being built at Dereham and for a new recycling centre planned for Thetford. During the construction works the existing recycling centre will remain open and the highways depot operation will be temporarily condensed.

A planning application for the new site will be submitted this Autumn. People can find out more about the plans at Great Yarmouth library and at Caister recycling centre from Friday, August 26.

Full information can also be found by visiting www.norfolk/gov.uk/recyclingcentres. The planning process will also involve a formal consultation.

Caister is one of seven recycling centres across Norfolk. It currently recycles around 63pc of its waste, although officials hope they can achieve up to 80pc at the new centre.

Although the Caister site is busy it handles half as much as Mile Cross in Norwich. We throw away more electrical items like TVs than ever before – as appliances are changed more frequently – and more packaging waste like cardboard.

The centre is open 9-6pm in summer and 9-4pm in winter seven days a week; it is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.