AN environmental charity is expanding operations at a booming recycled goods centre in South Tyneside.
Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN) says an increase in people seeking bargains, because of cash constraints, is one reason its Windmill Warehouse in South Shields will now be open at weekends.
The centre, at Middlefields Industrial Estate’s Recycling Village, Tyne Dock, has seen strong growth in resalable goods – last year saving a record 47.8 tonnes from the scrapheap. That 12-month figure was more than Groundwork had expected to collect in two years, and it has taken on a new staff member to extend its traditional 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday operations.
Bosses say the public asked for greater flexibility in opening times.
Andrew Watts, the charity’s executive director, said: “People like a bargain and Windmill Warehouse sells quality goods at low prices.
“There’s no doubt that we are reacting, to some degree, to a demand from the public for cheap goods because of the recession.
“We need to meet demand wherever we find it because it is important that these goods are used again rather than being scrapped.”
They have included 1950s furniture, racing bikes, electric guitars and amplifiers, violins, oboes, and phonographs.
Groundwork is aiming to repeat its recycling success this year, having originally aimed to recycle 40 tonnes between January 2013 and December 2014.
Electrical goods are Portable Appliance Tested, a recognised UK safety standard, and microwaves are given further safety checks.
They are resold with a 28-day guarantee, with profits helping fund Groundwork’s education, health and employment initiatives. White goods cannot be accepted.
The warehouse gives training and work experience to young people on Groundwork’s programmes.