Large fire breaks out at DS Smith Willenhall

A fire broke out at a DS Smith paper recycling plant this morning (1 March), with 30 firefighters and five fire crews sent in to tackle the blaze.

Large fire breaks out at DS Smith Willenhall
DS Smith, the UK’s largest paper recycler, announced today that a fire had started at one of its recycling depots early this morning, but that the fire is now ‘under control’.

All staff and visitors from the depot at Rose Hill Business Park, Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, were evacuated and accounted for and, according to the company, there have been no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is unknown at this point, but reports say it began from a piece of machinery running papers from recycling. An investigation has been started to determine exactly what happened.

The company provides corrugated packaging in Europe and plastic packaging worldwide, running nine recycling facilities in the UK. The fire comes just weeks after a fire broke out at UPM Shotton’s North Wales paper recycling facility.

West Midlands Fire Service alerted the public that crews were tackling the fire, which they described as ‘severe’, and advised people to keep their windows and doors closed. Teams from Bilston, Willenhall, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Fallings Park Fire Services were called in.

Just last week, DS Smith announced plans to invest £4 million in its recycling facilities in the South West of England and East London, aiming to increase coverage across the South West and improving the management of material quality in the UK. The firm also recently appointed a new Head of Recycling, Jochen Behr, replacing former Head Jim Malone.

A statement from the firm read: “All operations are currently suspended and all incoming vehicle movements are being safely diverted from site, but the fire has been contained and has not spread to any buildings on or near the site.

“Health and safety is of paramount importance to DS Smith and the company is working with the relevant authorities to help investigate the cause of the fire.”

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