First look at new £5million-plus Household Waste and Recycling Centre as Beach Street site closes for final time

A new era is dawning for the treatment of household rubbish in Sunderland.

The city’s Beach Street tip closed its gates for the last time today, Monday, January 31, ahead of the opening of a state-of-the-art new £5million-plus Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) on the former Rolls-Royce site in Pallion tomorrow morning.

At 16,000 sq m - more than five times the size of the current site and roughly the size of two football pitches - the new HWRC is capable of handling 3,000 vehicles a day and more than a million visits annually.By comparison, the Beach Street site, which opened in the early 80’s, last year handled less than 200,000 visits.

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The centre will handle everything from bagged household and garden waste, cardboard and wood, small and small domestic appliances, TVs and computers, small fridges, metal, soil, rubble, plasterboard, fluorescent tubes, engine and vegetable oil, textiles to household recycling including plastic, cans, glass, paper.

About 53.7 % per cent of all the waste currently delivered to the Beach Street site is recycled. The remainder is sent to an energy from waste facility on Teesside.City council leader Coun Graeme Miller said the new facility was a direct response to the wishes of residents: "They told us that they wanted to see bigger and better household waste and recycling facilities and that's something we have taken on board with this fantastic new centre,” he said.

"Sunderland is committed to being a clean green city and this brilliant facility will make it much easier for our residents to recycle and dispose of their waste.

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"It should also make for a much more pleasant experience with better access, undercover skips, generous parking, manoeuvring and offloading spaces and no steps between parking spaces and skips. It is also large enough to provide for Sunderland’s city's bulky waste and recycling needs well into the future.”

“In line with the council’s commitment to the green agenda, the new site is also much more energy efficient, with solar panels, rainwater harvesting and low energy lighting all helping to contribute towards our low carbon ambitions. We’ve even used recycled concrete from the Rolls Royce buildings in its construction.”

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The new Household Waste and Recycling Centre will open tomorrow
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The new site will operate an appointments system, as Deputy Leader Coun Claire Rowntree explained: "We've kept the online booking system which has proved really popular with our residents since we first introduced it at Beach Street in 2020 and guarantees any delays will be minimal.

"I'm also very excited about the new re-use shop due to open this summer where residents can bring and shop for preloved household items and furniture. This will be operated by a charity and will allow items people no longer have a use for to be recycled and resold."Beach Street site manager Bill McGill said six staff would transfer to the new HWRC, while another four had been taken on.

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"It will be a major improvement for staff as well as residents,” he said.

The centre is the size of two football pitches
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"We will be able to recycle more materials and with more skips, people shouldn’t have to wait for so long.”

The site will open seven days a week, only closing on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. For further information, to book an appointment and for details of opening times visit

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(Left to right) Coun Graeme Miller; Fiona Brown, Executive Director of City Development Fiona Brown, Coun Claire Rowntree and council chief executive Patrick Melia at the new Household Waste and Recycling Centre

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The new centre can handle 3,000 vehicles a day
The reuse shop, which will open in the summer, taking shape
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Site manager Bill McGill and team leader Ron Brown close the gate for the last time at the former Household Waste and Recycling Centre in Beach Street