Newmarket Open Door waste recycling centre closes
Newmarket's waste recycling centre has closed after the organisation which operated the facility said it was no longer financially viable.
Charity Newmarket Open Door had run the Depot Road centre since 2011 when Suffolk County Council decided to close the site as a cost cutting move.
But because of 'increasing operational costs, administrative burdens and technical requirements,' Open Door trustees decided to shut down the site.
John Durrant, general manager of the charity, said: "Open Door took over the site to raise funds for our charity and provide what the public regarded as a valued service to our community.
"Unfortunately, operational costs steadily increased, particularly with disposal and transport costs and the prices of recyclate dropped considerably over time. A grant from the county council did keep us going for a while, but with the increasing administrative burdens and technical requirements the charity trustees decided to close the site."
The county council's plan to close Newmarket's recycling centre seven years ago were greeted with anger by residents as it had decided to keep its Mildenhall centre open.
Hundreds of protestors took to Newmarket High Street to campaign against its closure and the town council agreed to give £15,000 to help keep the facility operational.
And the Newmarket-based charity decided to operate the site as a way to earn extra income, charging users for dumping waste at the site.
At a Newmarket Town Council meeting on Tuesday before today's news, councillors received a report from the county council detailing plans to spend £6 million on recycling centres across Suffolk, including £1 million for urgent improvements at the Haverhill depot.
At the meeting Cllr Michael Jeffreys said he was 'disgusted' at the Ipswich-based county council upgrade plans after it had closed its Newmarket facility.
"Suffolk County Council is putting £1 million to upgrade its site in Ipswich. Why can't they put that into Newmarket?" he said.
Cllr Rachel Hood said: "People in this part of the county are good at recycling and Newmarket needs a council recycling centre."
Open Door continues to operate the charity superstore in Craven Way and will continue to collect donations of recyclable materials such as clothing, curtains, household linen, books, paper and materials along with quality usable furniture and household goods and selected electrical items.
The charity provides 24 spaces of supported housing for homeless and vulnerable people aged 16 to 24.