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Waste management fire tests planned

New tests have been planned to help research into the causes of fires at waste management sites and how best to tackle them.

The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) has announced that the tests will be “no bigger than a bonfire on Guy Fawkes Night” and will be held in a few weeks at a former airfield in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The WRA says the work will involve “a significant amount of scientific measurement to establish what exactly is happening at each stage as the fire starts and progresses”.

Depending on the weather the tests will take about a week to complete. The Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) will be on hand during the tests to ensure they are under control at all times.

The work is a partnership between the WRA, the London Fire Brigade and Chief Fire Officers Association, the Environment Agency (EA), the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) and Stobart Biomass.

The FRS and EA will be presenting details of the research at a public meeting on 11 August.

Fires at recycling sites have blighted the waste industry with an estimated 300 fires a year, costing the FRS more than £16m and having a detrimental impact on the environment and the local community.

In July Hadfield Wood Recyclers announced it was not accepting materials at its Manchester and Middlesbrough sites to avoid enforcement action from the EA relating to its new fire prevention plan (FPP) guidance.

The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) said at the time it could not understand why the EA did not wait until the completion of fire tests before issuing the new FPP document.

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