Jobs at metal recycling giant Sims in Newport are under threat

'COMMERCIALLY UNATTRACTIVE': The Sims £12 million waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) reprocessing plant at Newport docks

Paul Wake of Sims at the Newport plant with examples of the electical waste that arrives at the plant. Photo by Simon Chapman.

First published in Gwent news

ALMOST 100 jobs are under threat at a Newport recycling facility whose parent company has called it “commercially unattractive”.

Metal recycling giant Sims officially opened its £12 million waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) reprocessing facility in South Dock in 2009 and was attended by Rhodri Morgan, the then First Minister.

But Sims has announced that legislation and market dynamics in the UK have resulted in the business becoming commercially unattractive to the company.

A Sims spokesman confirmed that, subject to consultation, the proposal is to close the Newport WEEE Plant. There are 99 roles directly associated with the facility that could be affected should the proposal be realised.

The collective consultation period started on July 10 and is set for a minimum of 45 days.

The spokesman said: "We are collectively consulting with employee representative and Trade Union representatives.

"Employees would also be consulted with on an individual basis if they could be affected by any decisions reached at the end of the collective consultation process."

The 100,000 tonne-a-year capacity plant is near to Sims' fridge recycling plant, however the company have said that this will not be affected by the restructuring activities taking place in the UK.

The plant processes waste electrical and electronic equipment from businesses, using technology to separate out metals and plastics. These are then sold on to be used in the manufacture of new products. It also refurbishes computers.

A spokesman for the union, GMB, confirmed the position of the company, and said a consultation process is normal procedure during a redundancy process. They also said no final decision had been made.

He said that there are a number of measures in effect to try to avoid the closure of the facility. He said these are currently being discussed as part of the consultation.

Sims have said that the UK-wide restructuring initiative is designed to streamline its recycling business, Sims Recycling Solutions, and that, following a review, "certain loss-making assets" had been identified. These are said to be "outside of the strategic long-term interests" of the company.

The plant received financial support from the Welsh Assembly Government in 2009, with Mr Morgan calling it the “world’s leading facility” at the opening of the 36 acre-site.

He said at the time: “This is good for Newport and good for Wales and puts us firmly at the top of the tree.”

A spokeswoman for Newport City Council said that they are “saddened to hear of the news of potential redundancies at the Sims Recycling Centre in Newport.”

She added: “This is very upsetting news for all involved. The council hopes that the employees will be able to secure rewarding employment for the workers who have much to contribute to the local economy.

“The economic climate remains very challenging but one of our priorities as a council is to encourage investment and we are working hard to achieve that objective.”

Comments (25)

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9:58am Sat 26 Jul 14

displayed says...

http://www.southwale
sargus.co.uk/news/10
462759.Uncertain_fut
ure_for_Newport_meta
l_firm_after_shreddi
ng_stops/
http://www.southwale
sargus.co.uk/archive
/2003/08/28/4609952.
City_docks_set_for_a
___10m_investment/
No mention of the court case in which a man lost his life whilst delivering..........
..
http://www.southwale sargus.co.uk/news/10 462759.Uncertain_fut ure_for_Newport_meta l_firm_after_shreddi ng_stops/ http://www.southwale sargus.co.uk/archive /2003/08/28/4609952. City_docks_set_for_a ___10m_investment/ No mention of the court case in which a man lost his life whilst delivering.......... .. displayed
  • Score: -21

10:28am Sat 26 Jul 14

Magor says...

There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire. Magor
  • Score: -8

11:23am Sat 26 Jul 14

corpamassive says...

5 years is up ,so they dont have to pay anything back on the money they had from WAG.
5 years is up ,so they dont have to pay anything back on the money they had from WAG. corpamassive
  • Score: 28

11:27am Sat 26 Jul 14

b3talover says...

Magor wrote:
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.[/p][/quote]The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens. b3talover
  • Score: 17

11:34am Sat 26 Jul 14

Floppy backed says...

corpamassive wrote:
5 years is up ,so they dont have to pay anything back on the money they had from WAG.
I was wondering about whether they had grants from WAG.

WAG are great at issuing grants arnt they whether its a viable option or not. Supply a business plan on the best case scenario and hey presto here's your money!

Run the business for as long as its profitable and then pack up.

Can anyone fill me in with the money they initially received?
[quote][p][bold]corpamassive[/bold] wrote: 5 years is up ,so they dont have to pay anything back on the money they had from WAG.[/p][/quote]I was wondering about whether they had grants from WAG. WAG are great at issuing grants arnt they whether its a viable option or not. Supply a business plan on the best case scenario and hey presto here's your money! Run the business for as long as its profitable and then pack up. Can anyone fill me in with the money they initially received? Floppy backed
  • Score: 12

11:38am Sat 26 Jul 14

Independentvoter says...

Sims have robbed people blind for years - what goes round comes round !
Sims have robbed people blind for years - what goes round comes round ! Independentvoter
  • Score: 7

11:47am Sat 26 Jul 14

Floppy backed says...

Magor wrote:
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
???? This plant sorts metal from plastic from white goods/technological items. Recycling is the way forward however if the amount of paperwork, EU rules and regulations and actually overheads of running a massive plant making it nonviable.

Scrap metals provide an excellent return it doesnt say that it is struggling financially on scrap. Not forgetting the less use of natural resources, pollution and land fill.

If you are talking about paper - due to chinese lanterns or arson?
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.[/p][/quote]???? This plant sorts metal from plastic from white goods/technological items. Recycling is the way forward however if the amount of paperwork, EU rules and regulations and actually overheads of running a massive plant making it nonviable. Scrap metals provide an excellent return it doesnt say that it is struggling financially on scrap. Not forgetting the less use of natural resources, pollution and land fill. If you are talking about paper - due to chinese lanterns or arson? Floppy backed
  • Score: -5

1:04pm Sat 26 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

"Sims Group has invested £10 million in new
equipment for the site, which also houses the
company's existing fridge recycling plant. A
further £3.5 million in investment has been
provided by Associated British Ports, and the
Welsh Assembly has chipped in a £2 million
grant.


Opening the facility today, minister Andrew
Davies said: "Sims Group is at the cutting edge
of recycling with this new facility".

(Andrew Davies left the Assembly with a fat multi thou leaving cheque as compo...and then watzed immediately into the Politics Chair at Swansea University). Laugh and the Welsh Politico Class laughs with/at you.
"Sims Group has invested £10 million in new equipment for the site, which also houses the company's existing fridge recycling plant. A further £3.5 million in investment has been provided by Associated British Ports, and the Welsh Assembly has chipped in a £2 million grant. Opening the facility today, minister Andrew Davies said: "Sims Group is at the cutting edge of recycling with this new facility". (Andrew Davies left the Assembly with a fat multi thou leaving cheque as compo...and then watzed immediately into the Politics Chair at Swansea University). Laugh and the Welsh Politico Class laughs with/at you. KarloMarko
  • Score: 14

2:04pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Bobevans says...

I guess the WAG subsidy has run out
I guess the WAG subsidy has run out Bobevans
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Sat 26 Jul 14

bfc member says...

Sims paid mangers extremely high wages for doing very little for 5 years, they took no advice on improving the facility from employees or anyone else, now the company does not make money,strange that.I smell a rat!!
Sims paid mangers extremely high wages for doing very little for 5 years, they took no advice on improving the facility from employees or anyone else, now the company does not make money,strange that.I smell a rat!! bfc member
  • Score: 19

2:46pm Sat 26 Jul 14

bfc member says...

And yes the WAG grants have run out, but of course as Sims said this was not a "factor" in the company failing. At least we got EMR to fall back on.
And yes the WAG grants have run out, but of course as Sims said this was not a "factor" in the company failing. At least we got EMR to fall back on. bfc member
  • Score: 8

3:08pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Mr Bump. says...

Seeing as the WAG have been funding this, why don't they take the plant over and put it into public ownership, like they did with the Airport? Everyones a winner.
Seeing as the WAG have been funding this, why don't they take the plant over and put it into public ownership, like they did with the Airport? Everyones a winner. Mr Bump.
  • Score: 15

3:13pm Sat 26 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

Great! WAG could recycle themselves! I could do with some 10 inch planks for the shed. And a bookcase.
Great! WAG could recycle themselves! I could do with some 10 inch planks for the shed. And a bookcase. KarloMarko
  • Score: 16

3:49pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Olde Worlde Girle says...

The most galling thing of all, instead of selling the facility in order for another company to take over the process and hopefully save some jobs, the ruthless gits are planning to hold on to the site and mothball it. How some people can sleep at night, I do not know!!!
The most galling thing of all, instead of selling the facility in order for another company to take over the process and hopefully save some jobs, the ruthless gits are planning to hold on to the site and mothball it. How some people can sleep at night, I do not know!!! Olde Worlde Girle
  • Score: 22

4:07pm Sat 26 Jul 14

bfc member says...

They will sleep very well with the wages they were paid over the last 5 years, no mortgage trouble etc etc, they won't worry about the shop floor workers at all.
They will sleep very well with the wages they were paid over the last 5 years, no mortgage trouble etc etc, they won't worry about the shop floor workers at all. bfc member
  • Score: 10

4:33pm Sat 26 Jul 14

bfc member says...

I thought Sims don't recognise a trade union, how come GMB got to comment on the subject, any answers anyone?
I thought Sims don't recognise a trade union, how come GMB got to comment on the subject, any answers anyone? bfc member
  • Score: 1

5:57pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Magor says...

Floppy backed wrote:
Magor wrote:
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
???? This plant sorts metal from plastic from white goods/technological items. Recycling is the way forward however if the amount of paperwork, EU rules and regulations and actually overheads of running a massive plant making it nonviable.

Scrap metals provide an excellent return it doesnt say that it is struggling financially on scrap. Not forgetting the less use of natural resources, pollution and land fill.

If you are talking about paper - due to chinese lanterns or arson?
Most electrical items are on the whole plastic and its cheaper to use new polymer than clean up old stuff.
[quote][p][bold]Floppy backed[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.[/p][/quote]???? This plant sorts metal from plastic from white goods/technological items. Recycling is the way forward however if the amount of paperwork, EU rules and regulations and actually overheads of running a massive plant making it nonviable. Scrap metals provide an excellent return it doesnt say that it is struggling financially on scrap. Not forgetting the less use of natural resources, pollution and land fill. If you are talking about paper - due to chinese lanterns or arson?[/p][/quote]Most electrical items are on the whole plastic and its cheaper to use new polymer than clean up old stuff. Magor
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Magor says...

b3talover wrote:
Magor wrote:
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.
Yes,you are right regarding aluminium but electrical items are mainly plastic.
[quote][p][bold]b3talover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.[/p][/quote]The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.[/p][/quote]Yes,you are right regarding aluminium but electrical items are mainly plastic. Magor
  • Score: 1

9:54pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Bobevans says...

Magor wrote:
b3talover wrote:
Magor wrote:
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.
Yes,you are right regarding aluminium but electrical items are mainly plastic.
The market is pretty saturated with recycled material. Recycled material is also not always the best quality. Metals you can usually recycle well but cardboard & paper & plastic not so well

The other problem is you can only recycle plastics and paper a few times and you need to add a lot of virgin paper pulp to the recycled stuff
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]b3talover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.[/p][/quote]The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.[/p][/quote]Yes,you are right regarding aluminium but electrical items are mainly plastic.[/p][/quote]The market is pretty saturated with recycled material. Recycled material is also not always the best quality. Metals you can usually recycle well but cardboard & paper & plastic not so well The other problem is you can only recycle plastics and paper a few times and you need to add a lot of virgin paper pulp to the recycled stuff Bobevans
  • Score: -11

9:54pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Bobevans says...

Magor wrote:
b3talover wrote:
Magor wrote:
There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.
The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.
Yes,you are right regarding aluminium but electrical items are mainly plastic.
The market is pretty saturated with recycled material. Recycled material is also not always the best quality. Metals you can usually recycle well but cardboard & paper & plastic not so well

The other problem is you can only recycle plastics and paper a few times and you need to add a lot of virgin paper pulp to the recycled stuff
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]b3talover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: There is very little demand for recycled materials,its cheaper to use new.Why do you think these places are always catching fire.[/p][/quote]The prices of recycled baled, densified and strapped aluminium have risen over the last two years. Aluminium is cheaper to produce from recycled aluminium because you don't have to mine the bauxite ore. You have to supply a huge electrical current to extract aluminium from bauxite ore, thus it takes less energy and therefore cost to produce aluminium from recycled aluminium. The fire risk at these plants comes from the processing ovens.[/p][/quote]Yes,you are right regarding aluminium but electrical items are mainly plastic.[/p][/quote]The market is pretty saturated with recycled material. Recycled material is also not always the best quality. Metals you can usually recycle well but cardboard & paper & plastic not so well The other problem is you can only recycle plastics and paper a few times and you need to add a lot of virgin paper pulp to the recycled stuff Bobevans
  • Score: -8

10:25pm Sat 26 Jul 14

welshmen says...

Just get the WAG to give them another grant ASAP....
Just get the WAG to give them another grant ASAP.... welshmen
  • Score: -10

11:09pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

According to official government propaganda - as relayed through the mainstream corporate media - we were being told just yesterday that the recession is now finally over. Those of us whose jobs are in jeopardy, who haven't had a pay rise in years and whose wages are failing to keep up with inflation and those of us who simply cannot get a job at all know different. Or is it just that the supposedly necessary austerity measures are just another lie; an 'excuse' by a pathologically greedy, parasitical capitalist 'elite' to make as much profit as possible by sacking as many actual workers as possible in order to get as much money by paying as few workers as possible? Never in the field of human endeavour did so few owe so much to even fewer!;)
According to official government propaganda - as relayed through the mainstream corporate media - we were being told just yesterday that the recession is now finally over. Those of us whose jobs are in jeopardy, who haven't had a pay rise in years and whose wages are failing to keep up with inflation and those of us who simply cannot get a job at all know different. Or is it just that the supposedly necessary austerity measures are just another lie; an 'excuse' by a pathologically greedy, parasitical capitalist 'elite' to make as much profit as possible by sacking as many actual workers as possible in order to get as much money by paying as few workers as possible? Never in the field of human endeavour did so few owe so much to even fewer!;) Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -2

1:01pm Sun 27 Jul 14

the buff says...

most of the 'workers' there are hard working,working class men that don't have a list of qualifications,do there jobs correctly and don't mind getting there hands dirty.unfortunatly,t
here are not many of those jobs around now.this plant has been badly managed from day 1,the managers don't care about it closing,as they can go and get 'office' jobs elsewhere.
most of the 'workers' there are hard working,working class men that don't have a list of qualifications,do there jobs correctly and don't mind getting there hands dirty.unfortunatly,t here are not many of those jobs around now.this plant has been badly managed from day 1,the managers don't care about it closing,as they can go and get 'office' jobs elsewhere. the buff
  • Score: 3

1:20pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Limestonecowboy says...

A theme forming here Greenhill Construction receiving WG funding goes bust now Simms just wonder what qualifies as a business case maybe the Minister could explain.
A theme forming here Greenhill Construction receiving WG funding goes bust now Simms just wonder what qualifies as a business case maybe the Minister could explain. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Mr Bump. says...

Didn't LG sod off after all their grants and funding stopped?
I'm all for the Wag nationalizing all these firms that they are basically funding. The jobs would be secure and profits could be ploughed used for the benefit of Wales has a whole, rather than inflating the bank accounts of a few fat cats.
Didn't LG sod off after all their grants and funding stopped? I'm all for the Wag nationalizing all these firms that they are basically funding. The jobs would be secure and profits could be ploughed used for the benefit of Wales has a whole, rather than inflating the bank accounts of a few fat cats. Mr Bump.
  • Score: 4

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