Recycling plant fire burns on nine days after blaze ignited

Recycling plant fire burns on nine days after blaze ignited

19 March 2010

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United Kingdom —  More than a week after it began, a fire at Caythorpe’s Mid UK Recycling plant continues to burn today (Friday).

Hundreds of tonnes of peat, garden waste and wood ignited last Wednesday, sparked by a chemical reaction which naturally occurs as the materials decompose.

The materials are so heavily compacted together that firefighters and plant workers cannot easily reach the pockets of fire.

Since the blaze began, the recycling plant has been surrounded by a haze of smoke.

And the Grantham fire crew which is working with the firm to extinguish the smouldering material believes it will be several more days before the flames are completely extinguished.

Grantham Fire Station manager Dan Marsland said: “We’ve made some considerable steps towards extinguishing most of it.

“But if we were to try to extinguish it with large volumes of water, the water has to go somewhere and that may cause an environmental impact. What we’re trying to do is extinguish it as quickly as possible with the least amount of environmental impact.”

The fire crew has carried out daily inspections since the fire began, and will continue to do so until the flames are out.

The crew is also working with the Environment Agency.

Mr Harsland has reassured nearby villagers that the smoke causes little threat to their health, but said they should close their windows if the wind direction carries the smoke towards their homes.

Mid UK Recycling sorts recyclable waste, including household waste from homes in South Kesteven and North Kesteven.

The Journal has reported on two similar fires at the plant in the past five years.

The first was in September 2005, whereby lightning was blamed.

The second was reported in May 2008, when a domestic waster shed caught fire and burned for two days.

Nobody at Mid UK Recycling was available for comment on the latest blaze.

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