Fears for jobs as South Yorkshire firm calls in administrator

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A RECYCLING firm in South Yorkshire has gone into administration - with about 50 jobs at risk.

Sterecycle has appointed administrators for its plant on Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham.

The waste treatment and renewable power company blamed the move on ‘a significant downturn in trading results’, following a substantial fall in global recyclate prices’ and ‘protracted delays’ in obtaining approval to list the companyt on the Canadian stock exchange.

Tom Shields, chief executive, said: “It is with great sadness that the board has reluctantly decided to call in an administrator, having explored all practical options to continue trading with the company in its present form.

“I thank all those who have supported the firm through this difficult time.”

In December, the firm created 17 new jobs after securing a £5.1 million boost from four investors to increase its waste processing capacity from 100,000 tonnes a year to 130,000 tonnes a year by installing a new generation of equipment.

Sterecycle takes household and trade waste from across the county and processes it in a rotating oven.

The system separates out recyclable material and produces a compost-like fibre, which can also be used as a fuel.

Since it opened in June 2008, it has managed to divert up to 70 per cent of the waste it processes from landfill sites.

Sterecycle was hopeful investment from listing on the stock exchange in Canada would allow it to increase the amount of waste processed by its Rotherham plant to 240,000 tonnes a year and provide funding for a similar development in Cardiff, for which it already has planning permission.

When he announced his plans for listing his company, Mr Shields said the Canadian market is highly supportive of green businesses.

In August, the company ran into difficulty when it was ordered to remove hundreds of thousands of tonnes of a ‘smelly’ waste by-product from a greenbelt site.

The soil fertiliser by-product of its operation in Rotherham had been stockpiled at a landfill site in Hampole, near Doncaster, for four years, but residents complained about the stench and a planning inspector deemed the land use ‘inappropriate’ and ordered the removal of the waste.

Denis MacShane, Labour MP for Rotherham, said: “Adding to the unemployment toll in Rotherham is worrying, especially with the high levels of youth unemployment the town has.

“It is time for the Government to start investing in industry in the north instead of spending a fortune on those in the south.”