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WRG recycling centre blaze calmed after three days

A serious fire has been calmed after raging for three days at a waste transfer station in Wigan, Lancashire.

The Kirkless Recycling Centre in Higher Ince initially caught ablaze on the evening of Saturday 6 May, but by the afternoon of Tuesday 9 May, council officials claimed it was under control, with police assessing the situation on site. However, environmental health experts have stated that while the fumes are of low toxicity, members of the public are advised to stay away from the area.

Wigan Council senior waste management co-ordinator Gail Schofield said: “The site, owned by the Waste Recycling Group (WRG) has been severely damaged. But while there is no timescale on when the site will reopen, collection services are ongoing and delivering to other sites owned by the company in the area.

“We have arranged for the Frog Lane site to remain open until 8.00pm every night- the same time that Kirkless closed- to cope with the loss.”

The building affected is said to be slightly smaller than a football pitch and is used to house all types of domestic waste including residual, garden, rubble, cardboard and black bin content.

With the cause currently unknown, fire and council safety officers are viewing CCTV footage, but officials have moved to reassure the public over the effect on its recycling services.

Wigan Council director of engineering services Peter Taylor said: “Kirkless is one of the borough’s main recycling centres and obviously there is going to be a knock on effect at other sites.

“My staff have worked hard to ensure that residents’ bin, green waste and paper collections are not affected. We would like to thank residents for their patience during this busy time.”

Full waste collection services have resumed, although they are said to be taking longer to complete with the material having to be transported to alternative locations.

While the cost of the blaze to WRG is currently unknown, 40,000 council-owned green bins stored at the site were undamaged.

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