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Hundreds of fire visits to Orpington dump

Fire officers have attended 233 incidents at a notorious refuse mountain in Kent since January 2012.

The London Fire Brigade said it has spent more than 3,000 working hours and £914,000 in time and firefighting resources at the Waste4Fuel energy-from-waste site in Orpington (pictured).

This includes 78 incidents in 2015 to date, on which the Brigade estimates it has spent 360 working hours and £104,000.

The biggest of this year’s fires was in January, when four engines and 21 firefighters attended the site.

As much as 15,000 tonnes of waste were abandoned at the site, which led to repeated fires and great discontent among residents.

The Environment Agency (EA) has removed some materials to reduce the fire risk and revoked the company’s permit, but has maintained that responsibility for clearing the site lies with Waste4Fuel.

An EA spokesperson said the land owner has still not complied with an enforcement notice to remove this waste and is now considering further action against the land owner.

It said it is supporting London Borough of Bromley in negotiations with the land owner to secure an agreement that would allow the waste to be removed.

Waste4Fuel was prosecuted by London Fire Brigade and fined £1,000 in 2014 after crews were called to 12 fires within a year at its site. It was ordered to pay costs of £7,860 plus a £100 victim surcharge.

*Article updated to include this year’s statistics on 27 August

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