Fire breaks out at Atlantic Recycling in Cardiff

Over 70 firefighters have been called to tackle a large blaze at the Atlantic Recycling site on Newton Road, Rumney, in Cardiff

Beginning at approximately 1.30am this morning (28 March), the fire, the cause of which has not yet been established, reportedly involves 2,000 tonnes of waste material, including timber and plastics.

Despite the nine fire pumps on the scene, and a high volume pump drawing water from nearby ponds and drainage ditches, progress in damping down the scene is being hindered by the fact that the fire is in close proximity to 30-40 gas cylinders.

Because of concerns the gas cylinders may explode, a 200-metre exclusion zone has been placed around the site (however, the nearest homes are outside of this zone).      

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service claim the fire covers five acres (around half of the overall unit) and could take days to deal with.

Resource contacted Atlantic Recycling for comment, but has not yet received a reply.

Waste sector fires

Waste site fires are commonplace, with figures released last year showing that between 2001 and 2012, the average rate of fires at waste and recycling works came in at just under one per day.

Further to the environmental and social damage that waste fires cause, the cost of clearing up such fires is extensive; the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has revealed that emergency services in Scotland spent £15.9 million tackling 8,000 waste fires in 2012/13.

The Environment Agency has released guidance aimed at reducing the outbreak of fire at waste storage sites. Prepared in partnership with the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), the new Technical Guidance Note (TGN) ‘Reducing Fire Risk at Sites Storing Combustible Materials’, identifies a range of measures that operators of waste storage sites should implement to minimise the risk of fire.  

Read more about Atlantic Recycling.