Newmarket Open Door Takes On Recycling

10:35 Tuesday 28th June 2011
Mid Morning Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: A charity is taking over the running of Newmarket’s household waste recycling centre. It was earmarked for closure by Suffolk County Council to save some cash, partly because they thought it was mainly used by people like us, from Cambridgeshire. But the move was extremely unpopular, and a campaign was started to keep it open. Yesterday, local charity Newmarket Open Door sealed a deal with the Council to take it over. John Durrant from the charity joins me now. Morning John.
PAUL STAINTON: What experience have you got then, for running a recycling centre?
JOHN DURRANT: (LAUGHS) Well I’m hoping we’ll be leaning on all the people we do know. We’ll be getting a lot of advice obviously. I started stacking newspapers in a community recycling unit in Cherry Hinton, back in the 1980’s, so ..
PAUL STAINTON: So you’ve got a bit of experience there John.
JOHN DURRANT: A rather larger scale of course, it’s fair to say.
PAUL STAINTON: This is what the Government’s talking about, isn’t it, in terms of Big Society?
JOHN DURRANT: Well we saw an opportunity. We saw a local facility being cut because of budget deficits, and thought, well .. As soon as I heard about it I rang up and said, well what can we do to assist with this process, and mutually beneficial, to both us and the local community.
PAUL STAINTON: And who else is getting involved. How many people is it going to take?
JOHN DURRANT: Well we’re looking at the staff pattern at the moment. We’ve just agreed the principle through my trustees’ board who considered it late last week, agreed the principle, subject to some details. So we’d obviously be looking to see what core staff we’ll need. We’re hoping to take on apprentices at some point, and provide volunteering opportunities for others as well. So it’s a bit unsure about the exact numbers at the moment. But we’ll know we need a minimum number to cover the site at all times.
PAUL STAINTON: How much is it all going to cost? ..
JOHN DURRANT: A considerable amount of money, obviously.
PAUL STAINTON: That’s a big sum.
JOHN DURRANT: That’s a big sum. And we’re obviously looking to recoup that from charges, or donations. We’ve yet to sort out the detail of that as well. But we believe there should be enough in it to cover our costs basically. Because we’ll need to do that. And wood waste and green waste and household residual waste, that’s where the money costs for transporting it away, and recycling or sorting it, basically, through an MBT (mechanical biological treatment) plant, where it may well end up obviously costs money. So we’re looking to hopefully recoup that.
PAUL STAINTON: Well listen, good luck with it, and I hope it goes well for you, and I’m sure the people of Suffolk are very happy that it’s staying open. We’ll try not to use it too much John.
JOHN DURRANT: And also East Cambs for that matter, because obviously Newmarket is surrounded by East Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire, so we’ll still be providing a service to people who previously were customers here.