A BOSTON firm which recycles waste from across the UK is calling for Lincolnshire’s authorities to use its services and help boost jobs in the town – after revealing that the county’s material is often handled as far away as Wales.
Reclaimed Appliances, based at Boston docks and Market Place, recycles old and broken ‘e-waste’ including washing machines, television sets, computers, hair-dryers and toasters – handling 14,000 tonnes a year.
These items from the county’s household waste recycling sites are being sent to Wales and other parts of the country.
In the past few months, Reclaimed Appliances has had to lay off 30 staff after losing a £1.6 million contract for sites in Suffolk and missing out on the contract for Lincolnshire’s e-waste, which it has held previously.
“We send our trucks out all over the country to pick up e-waste to bring back and process at Boston, yet we were not taking such waste from Lincolnshire,” said Robert Truscott snr, owner of Reclaimed Appliances.
“Prior to April we employed over 160 people locally, this number has reduced to under 130 and is expected to reduce further as we take measures to reorganise in order to stay in business.
“If we had the contract for e-waste for Lincolnshire we would be able to take on more staff. If we are competitive and offer them a good deal, all I want is for them to consider using us and keeping the service local to Boston.”
While Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) owns other recycling sites Boston’s, in Slippery Gowt Lane, is owned and operated by Waste Recycling Group (WRG).
Small e-waste from Boston is processed elsewhere in Lincolnshire and larger items are taken to Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.
Mike Snell, WRG general manager (external affairs), said: “The recycling and reuse sector in the UK is very competitive and our aim always is to obtain best value from the contracts that we place.”
Household Waste Recycling Centres in Lincolnshire handled 4,231 tons of e-waste in the last financial year. The majority of this, from the LCC-owned sites, is taken to Anglesey in Wales to be processed.
LCC told The Standard that its contract for processing this e-waste will not come up again until 2013.
Ian Taylor, environmental services team leader (waste), said: “It would be great if all waste produced by Lincolnshire residents was recycled into something new within the county and used again just by local people. Unfortunately recycling is a specialist process that takes place within a competitive commercial marketplace. It is carried out by companies that are based all over the country, and even sometimes abroad.”
Reclaimed Appliances currently has contracts in Essex, Norfolk, Sheffield, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.