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Third Orpington site fire alarms MP

An MP has complained that a recycling site has caught fire for the third time in five weeks.

Orpington MP Jo Johnson said the Waste4Fuel site at St Paul’s Cray, south east London, had again been on fire late on the night of 22 April, only days after the Environment Agency served an environmental permit suspension notice on it following two earlier blazes.

He said diggers were used to plough up a 10 metre deep pile of waste to allow dampening.

Johnson, appointed last month as an adviser to prime minister David Cameron, said: “The Waste4Fuel site has become a dangerous hazard to the local community and it is high time that it faced robust enforcement action.”

London Fire Brigade said firefighters fought blazes at the site on 10 April and on 18 March.

Under the suspension notice, Waste4Fuel is required to remove all combustible waste by 15 July, subject to any appeal, with no less than two articulated lorries a day and moving no less than 250 tonnes per week.

Waste4Fuel has been contacted for comment but not yet responded.

Its website describes it as “a company that specialises in the collection and correct disposal of waste that can be reprocessed for use in generating electricity”, and adds that it specialises in the “disposal of tyres, plastics, cardboard, metals and paper”.

The St Paul’s Cray site has had a troubled history. Under its previous owner Sitec, which no longer exists, it suffered a blaze in December 2011 when the brigade said six fire engines and around 30 firefighters were called out to deal with burning wood and plastics and residents nearby were advised to keep doors and windows closed due to smoke.

Johnson said at the time that he was “deeply concerned about the impact this incident may be having on the fisheries and biodiversity of [adjacent] lakes”.

Sitec had its permit revoked by the Environment Agency in January 2012 following a series of breaches.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Bywaters has 365/24 planning for an under cover dirty MRF at Bow together with an environmental permit. Boris Johnson and his Deputy Mayor for waste promised to help deliver this new facility in 2009 but there was no delivery. Now Jo Johnson is advising the Government perhaps he can help unlock the necessary financial component to make this a reality, together with virtually 100% diversion from landfill...

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