Several fire service resources remain at the Worksop Recycling Centre in Shireoaks Road, where they are working around the clock to ensure the rubbish is broken down, allowing them access to extinguish burning waste with water jets. The rubbish is then being removed from the site.
Area Manager Craig Parkin said: “The recycling centre has been the scene of two separate incidents in the past three and a half weeks, involving fires in various locations.”
“These have been deep-seated in waste that covers an area equal to the size of a football pitch and five metres deep, which has been amassed on the site over several years.”
“This has made it extremely difficult for our fire crews to access.”
“We have successfully put a fire separation in between the fire and the remaining waste stored on site, potentially averting a much larger scale incident.”
“One of the areas that was burning has now been extinguished, and the site owners are continuing to pull apart the rubbish using mechanical diggers in order to give our firefighters access to it.”
“This is an extremely long and time-consuming process, but our crews are working round the clock to ensure the fires are extinguished as quickly as possible, and the site can be handed back to the owners.”
“Our plan has been developed in coordination and agreement with Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw District Council, the Environment Agency and Public Health England and we have been working closely with them to ensure public safety and well-being remains a priority.”
The first fire at the site, on Saturday 3rd August, involved a large amount of household waste stored inside a building, and crews worked for several days to contain the fire and stop it from spreading. The fire was so deep-seated that crews were unable to gain access to extinguish it fully, so the decision was made to break down the rubbish and remove it.
On Wednesday 21st August a second fire broke out, involving wood and wood chippings in the site’s large yard. The two fires are not believed to be linked, and the causes of both remain under investigation.
Eric Stevens, Team Leader from the Environment Agency, said: “Our officers have been working closely with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that the water used to fight the fire is contained on site and recycled.”
“This is to minimise the possibility of any environmental damage to the nearby canal. Things currently look positive and there is no evidence of any environmental effects, although we will continue to monitor the situation.”