A recycling firm at Tilbury said that it will be weeks before operations return to normal at the plant after a blaze at the Essex facility.
Fire crews from half a dozen fire services wearing breathing apparatus were needed to tackle the fire at Nordic Recycling earlier this week.
Nordic Recycling said an investigation was still trying to determine the cause of the fire.
Managing director Mike Kingston said: “We expect to be operating a scaled down version of the facility in the next couple of weeks but it will be some time before the MRF will be up and running as normal.”
There were 2,500 tonnes of material at the site, and the Kingston said there were a number of possible causes of the fire which destroyed paper bales, metals and plastics.
“It will be a substantial cost to the company as it is completely offline at the moment,” he said. “At the moment we are focusing on getting the plant up and running.”
There were no injuries from the fire.