A RECYCLING firm has celebrated the start of its 20th anniversary with a series of investments worth £1.3m.

J&B Recycling has rolled out an £800,000 plant upgrade and spent another £500,000 across three sites, machinery and its vehicle fleet.

Officials say its two-phase plant upgrade will allow the Hartlepool-headquartered business to take an additional 11,000 tonnes of waste every year and continue complying with strict overseas regulations.

They added a further purchase of three material handlers, worth around £550,000, will help ensure operations run efficiently.

Vikki Jackson-Smith, managing director, said: “The significant investments we have made have been key drivers in our strategy for continued growth and sustainability.

“They will not only give comfort to our customers but increase our efficiency, flexibility and allow us to prepare for any future changes in the market.

“The investment will also support our continuing goal of maximum efficiency and high-quality levels of service when working with our customers, especially in updates to our new vehicle fleet.

“Just last year we reported that 98 per cent of our collections were on time when analysed over six months and this year we want to further improve on that already high percentage.”

The new plant impressed Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who was given a tour of the site by Ms Jackson-Smith.

He said: “The new facility was seriously impressive, and it is wonderful to see such business growth and investment into the Tees Valley.”

J&B Recycling also has depots in Middlesbrough and Blaydon.