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Industry urged on fire guidance

The Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) has made a final call to the recycling industry to respond to a consultation on fire prevention.

The WRA, which represents 80% of the UK’s wood recyclers, urged any waste business that stores combustible materials to voice their opinions by the 4 March closing date for consultation on the Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) from the Environment Agency.

The trade body’s chair, Andy Hill, said the WRA had concerns about the guidance despite agreeing “fundamentally” that operators should have FPPs in place.

“Many of our members have already invested heavily to improve fire detection and prevention, and other health and safety measures, on their sites. We are the first waste stream to hold fire tests to help inform this process, and we are now awaiting the results,” he said.

“We are concerned that both the EA’s FPP guidance and the consultation were issued prior to the results of any fire tests being known, when those results will undoubtedly help to determine some of the answers to these questions.

“We are urging all our members and others in the industry to respond to the consultation before Friday to make sure their voice is heard.”

The trade body previously described the proposed guidance as “unreasonable and unnecessary”, some of which had “no scientific backing”.

It said the proposed maximum allowable burn time of three to four hours did not “take into account individual circumstances such as tonnages, material types, weather conditions and the local fire-fighting strategy”.

Meanwhile fire tests to provide empirical evidence for future storage regulations are running until the end of March.

In January, the EA denied prematurely implementing the new FPP guidance. The Tyre Recovery Association secretary general Peter Taylor told MRW that the regulations could “put some operators out of business”.

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