Environment Agency issue warnings to Waste Recycling Facilities

The Environment Agency has issued warnings to Waste Recycling Facilities that licence fees may increase for sites with ‘poorly managed’ fire risks.

A fire prevention guide and letter has been published and if the Agency deem that these standards are not adhered to then subsistence charges may increase by 300%.  Reductions of 5% could also be granted should the standards be met.

In a letter to firms headed ‘Are you doing enough to prevent fire at your waste site?’ the Agency explained: “We’re asking you to think about the impact of fire on your business, your reputation, your neighbours and your environment. Recent experience shows that large fires in stockpiled waste produce plumes of dense black smoke that impact on surrounding businesses, communities and transport routes. Contaminated water from fire-fighting threatens nearby rivers and site clearance is costly and time consuming. Prevention is better than cure – make sure you are prepared.”

It continued: “In your written procedures you’ll include the steps you’re taking to both prevent fires and to minimise the impact of an accident. We’ll be checking these procedures and the way you follow them, to make sure that they are as good as they can be.”

In the wake of the a recent Stockport blaze, Roy Wilsher, operations director for the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) said: “The recent fires in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester serve as a stark reminder to us all of the fire risk associated with waste and recycling sites. In 2012 there were over 300 fires at such sites, many of which required a huge effort from the local Fire and Rescue Service to contain the fire, which can burn for days or even weeks.”

Reported by letsrecycle.com

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