Recycling fire breaks out in Merseyside

A fire involving a ‘large quantity of recycling materials’ has broken out at a recycling facility in St Helens.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called at 5.13am this morning (5 November), to deal with a blaze at an industrial site in St Helens.

Waste and recycling alight at Merseyside facilityFour fire appliances were sent to the scene of the blaze, which involves a single-storey factory unit, measuring around 55 metres by 15 metres, at CEW Recycling Group’s recycling facility on Merton Street.

On arrival, two more appliances were called for to ensure that there were enough fire fighters to adequately access the fire and tackle it.

People living near to the site of the fire are being urged to keep windows and doors closed due to smoke emanating from the site.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager Guy Keen, said: “This is a deep-seated fire involving a large quantity of recycling materials. This fire is producing a lot of smoke and we are working on site to extinguish the fire as quickly as we can.

“We expect conditions to improve as the day goes on and the smoke to clear, but we advise people in areas where there is smoke from this fire to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed.”

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Incident Management Team is also at the scene.

Waste site fire guidance

The waste industry has encountered an increasing number of waste site fires in recent years, with the average rate of fires at waste and recycling works coming in at just under one per day.

In an attempt to prevent fires from occurring, the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) Forum issued new guidance last month to help waste site operators reduce fire risk.

Endorsed by the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA), and developed with input from the Environment Agency (EA), the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Health and Safety Laboratories (HSL), and other bodies, the guidance outlines how best to safely manage the storage of materials susceptible to combustion.

The Operations Director of the CFOA, Roy Wilsher, said that the guidance was “hugely useful”.

Read more about the WISH fire risk reduction guidance.

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