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Exeter waste site heavily damaged in ‘devastating’ fire

Exeter waste site heavily damaged in ‘devastating’ fire
A ‘devastating’ fire at a waste site in Exeter has resulted in the collapse of two-thirds of the building’s roof.

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service says that an alarm was raised at Devon Contract Waste Ltd’s Envirohub headquarters in Marsh Barton, a suburb of Exeter at around 11pm last night (1 March), and that additional crews were called to the scene due to the ‘rapid movement of the fire’.

As around 100 firefighters from 20 crews fought the blaze, part of the building collapsed at 3am, and by 6.20am two-thirds of the roof had caved into the main building.

By Thursday morning (9.20am) the number of engines on site had been scaled back, and this afternoon, just two crews remained to damp down the remaining fire.

Devon Contract Waste provides commercial waste management across Devon and Somerset and the plant located at its Envirohub base is capable of processing over 150,000 tonnes of non-food and non-glass waste a year.

The site is located just across the road from Exter City Council's waste depot and firefighters had to work to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent businesses. Bin collections in the city were delayed by three hours this morning as a result of the fire.

In a statement, Simon Almond, Managing Director of Devon Contract Waste Ltd, said: “It is with a sad heart that I have to announce our Envirohub recycling plant in Marsh Barton has suffered a devastating fire tonight. Thankfully, due to the prompt actions of the fire officers and some of my very brave staff, we saved our entire fleet of trucks.

“This means that service for all our clients will be undertaken as normal and collections will be made as usual. Alternative arrangements to deal with all waste have already been put in place.”

Company had invested in expansion at site

Last November, the company invested £326,000 in a new industrial baler for the Envirohub plant to double its capacity. And earlier this week, the company announced that it was investing £260,000 in the construction of a new data destruction facility in Exeter to expand its confidential waste handling capacity to 15,000 tonnes per year.

The new building was also designed to provide storage for baled plastic from Devon Contract Waste’s Envirohub to create more space for general waste processed under the company’s ‘zero to landfill’ programme.

Exeter waste site heavily damaged in ‘devastating’ fire

Almond added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and customers for their support and understanding at this challenging time.

“We would also like to thank the Devon & Somerset Fire Service for their tireless work throughout the night to bring the fire under control. We are working closely with local authorities and utility companies to minimise disruption to local business.”

More information about Devon Contract Waste can be found on the company’s website.

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