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Big fire at unlicensed plastics facility

Milton fire

The Environment Agency (EA) has said a plastics recycling site in Staffordshire where a large fire is underway was unlicensed and being operated without a permit.

Emergency services were called to the plant on Redhills Road, Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, on Sunday morning and, at its height, the blaze was being tackled by 50 firefighters.

Local media named the site as Hanbury Plastics Recycling Centre and quoted an EA statement as saying: “They have never held an environmental permit and we have issued legal notices to clear the waste plastics from the site.

”We instructed the company to remove the waste, which went from a peak of around 10,000 tonnes to about 1,500 tonnes at the time of the fire.”

On Sunday, Staffordshire fire service group manager Toby Wilson said: “The roof of the building has collapsed and so no firefighters have been sent inside. Instead we’ve surrounded the fire and are fighting it externally and used the aerial ladder platform to tackle it from above.

“We’ve required large volumes of water which we are pumping from the canal, and have been working closely with the EA to ensure the environment is protected from any run-off water.”

Large plumes of smoke rose above the site and local residents were advised to keep windows and doors closed as a precautionary measure.

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