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Significant fires hit waste sites over long weekend

Large fires have taken place at a number of waste and recycling sites during the bank holiday weekend.

Plastic recycler J&A Young, Sita’s recycling site at North Shields and recycler WormTech all experienced fires this weekend.

A blaze broke out at J&A Young’s site in Loughborough in the early hours of the morning of 2 May, burning 200 tonnes of plastic. Eleven fire engines from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue service were called to the scene, which continues to be damped down today (3 May). Thick black smoke produced by the fire was so severe that police had to close several roads in the area. It is believed the A6 is still out of bounds.

Sita’s recycling site in North Tyneside needed 52 firefighters to help tackle a blaze which broke out on 1 May. The fire took hold in a single-storey building which processes refuse and recycling materials. It is the second fire at the facility in the space of five weeks. 

A spokesman for Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “Of the building and contents, 10% has been severely damaged by fire and 80% has been severely damaged by heat and smoke.” The fire was extinguished after a few hours.

Organic waste recycling specialist WormTech also experienced a significant fire, which took place on 2 May at its site in Caerwent, south Wales. According to reports, 45 firefighters fought the blaze, which started within cardboard and paper bales stored on-site in the open air. Its co-founder Jackie Powell said: “The police are investigating to see whether it was arson. Obviously we could have done without the fire, but it won’t be closing us down. The building was unaffected but we did lose baling equipment.”

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