A STATE-OF-THE-ART new recycling centre for Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary – expected to receive 5,000 tonnes of household waste each year – is up and running.

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The public got their first look at the £2.3million facility near the Bowd last Tuesday after it was officially unveiled by Devon County Council (DCC).

The centre, on the C808, is around 300 metres south of the ‘inadequate’ Woods Farm hub it will replace. The old site closes permanently on Sunday (December 8).

DCC says the new, larger hub will give residents a ‘far superior service with minimal queuing and congestion that will be far easier and convenient’.

“The site will make the whole process of recycling waste far easier,” said project manager Chris Chandler.

“We hope the local residents like the facilities and take advantage of this new service.”

SITA UK Ltd will be operating the centre for DCC and all the staff from Woods Farm will transfer across.

The site - leased to the council by Clinton Devon Estates – and an adjacent field will be landscaped and planted with around 5,000 trees and shrubs to screen it and minimise its visual impact on the surrounding area.

Councillor Roger Croad, DCC cabinet member for environmental and regulatory services, said: “This new site brings local recycling facilities bang up to date with a much improved amenity.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, member for Sidmouth, added: “Woods Farm centre is one of the county’s top performing centres but it isn’t user friendly, which limits its use. The new site, which I’m very excited about, will offer people a much improved service which will encourage more people to recycle more often.”

Cllr Claire Wright, member for Ottery St Mary, is impressed with the ‘attention to detail’ and design of the centre – especially as it is in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and hopes it will signal an end to talkbacks between the Bowd and Tipton St John.

“It will have very little visual impact on the landscape,” she said.

“I hope that recycling rates will get a boost when the new centre opens.”

Phil Rudin, regional manager of SITA UK, added: “There is a real sense of anticipation and excitement among our team as we prepare to move to the new centre, which is bigger, better and befitting of the local area.”

The facility will be open from 8am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday and 10am to 4.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Sidmouth and Ottery centre’s new recycling site is a split-level design where the public can deposit items in various containers placed at a lower level without the need to climb steps.

The facility as the final touches were being applied this week.

Most HGV movements will take place separately from the public area which will enable the site to remain open to the public when waste containers are being exchanged.

A traffic loop system with ample car parking will ensure a smooth flow of traffic preventing the problem of stationary vehicles blocking the access and exit route.

DCC says the site is of a design and capacity that will prevent vehicles from having to queue on the road.

It is expected that 80 per cent of the anticipated annual 5,000 tonnes of household waste the centre receives will be recycled.

Dedicated facilities will be available for householders to dispose of glass, paper, cardboard, cans, textiles, metals, wood, garden waste, plastic bottles, carrier bags and clean mixed plastic packaging.

There will also be facilities to dispose of engine oil, vegetable oil, lead-acid batteries, domestic batteries, tyres, fridges, televisions, fluorescent tubes, domestic appliances and electrical equipment, mobile phones, gas cylinders, plasterboard and soil or rubble.

The site will also provide residents with the chance to recycle carpets, mattresses and bulky plastics.

There will also be a dedicated sales area where suitable salvaged items can be purchased for re-use.

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