Residents fight 24-hour recycling plan

The plant at the centre of a row over round-the-clock operation plans.
The plant at the centre of a row over round-the-clock operation plans.

ANGRY residents and two councillors are campaigning to block plans for round-the-clock operations at a “noisy” recycling plant in Kilnhurst.

Residents who live on a new estate, which sits next to the plant, told this week of a constant “humming” noise emanating from the site.

Meanwhile, others have complained of emissions coming from chimney stacks, and noise from lorries thundering past.

Martin Peace, of Canalside View, said: “We have been here about two-and-a-half years and there has always been a lot of noise.

“There is a constant hum, which you can hear day and night.

“Sometimes there is a really thick, black plume of smoke which comes from their chimneys, and you can smell it.

“It is pretty bad now, but I can’t imagine what it would be like running 24 hours.”

Another resident, who lives on Waterway Lane, but did not want to be named, added that residents have raised concerns about lorries driving to too fast when making deliveries to the plant.

She said: “A lot of people have children who play out on their bikes, near to the road where the lorries drive down.

“The lorries go too fast, they must have been getting up to 60mph sometimes.

“I don’t know of any accidents happening, but it does make you worry.

“If they increase the hours, then that will mean more deliveries, one would think.”

Young mum Emma Wallace, who lives just a few hundred yards away from the plant entrance on Wharf Road, was one of the first people to sign the petition opposing the extension plans.

She said: “The lorries are really noisy as it is – so much so, that my young daughter often can’t sleep in the afternoon.

“They sometimes come along two and three at a time, and you can hear it all through the house.

“We are really worried about how worse it’s going to get, if they can run all day and night.”

The residents have been backed in their fight to get the plans blocked, by Swinton councillors Ken Wyatt and John Doyle.

Coun Wyatt said: “The business has been there for a long while, and is a good employer.

“We are not against the company, but I think it’s got to be about doing what’s right for everybody.

“And I don’t think a 24-hour operation is fair on the residents who live close to the plant.”

The planning application, to extend the operating period to 24 hours, has been submitted to Rotherham Council by the London Wiper Company Limited.

The Times asked Universal Recycling for comment, but were told to speak to Managing Director John Hughes, who was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

The company website says the premises is a £3m WEEE recycling plant, which is one of the largest and most environmentally efficient processing facilities in the UK.

It is able to handle large volumes of electrical and electronic waste.