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Upswing in fires at regulated waste sites

The number of fires at Environment Agency (EA) monitored waste sites increased slightly last year, but the total number of fires including illegal and unregulated sites has fallen.

Waste minister Dan Rogerson outlined the figures at the House of Commons.

Number of fires    
Type of waste management site201120122013Total
Regulated waste transfer stations13396106335
All regulated waste sites348247254849
All regulated and unregulated waste sites4253022951022


The figures for ‘all regulated waste sites’ includes composting sites, anaerobic digestion facilities, metal recycling and vehicle dismantling facilities, other treatment sites and landfills.

These figures are included in the category ‘all regulated and unregulated waste sites’, which additionally cover fires at illegal sites unregulated sites.

Dan Rogerson

Rogerson (pictured left) produced the statistics in response to a question in Parliament from shadow defence minister Kevan Jones (Lab) about the number fires at waste transfer stations in the last three years.


Response to increasing Leeds fires

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Safety Committee met on 7 February to discuss the potential environmental damage caused by the growing number of serious fires at waste recycling sites in Leeds.

All districts within West Yorkshire, with the exception of Calderdale to date, have experienced waste fires. The largest in recent years being a 12 pump fire at Beeston in Leeds (July 2013), and the most recent a six pump fire in Armley, Leeds, on New Year’s Day 2014.

There was also a fire at Sherburn in Elmet in North Yorkshire involving approximately 15,000 tonnes of tyres.

Leeds districts have linked in directly with the EA to address these issues.

The next committee meeting will be held on 25 April 2014.

  • The Chief Fire Officers’ Association held a ‘Fire Futures Forum’ on 27 November 2013.
  • The EA have also recently issued a technical guidance note to site operators in an attempt to reduce the impact and frequency of fires at waste and recycling sites.

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