AVERIES Recycling claim the fire at their Marshgate site could be out by now if the Environment Agency didn’t disrupt the firefighters who are dealing with the incident.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is still at Averies attempting to put out the waste fire which started on Monday, July 21. Since the fire began smoke has continually been seen across Swindon.
Firefighters are working with Averies, Swindon Council, NHS England, Wiltshire Police and the Environment Agency to investigate the cause and reduce the affect the smoke is having on residents and neighbouring businesses.
A spokesperson for Averies said: “We remain extremely concerned about the incident at our Marshgate site which has now been burning since the evening of Monday, July 21.
“Despite the view of the Environment Agency, we continue to work with all of the relevant authorities to minimise the disruption that the fire is having on the community. Our staff are undertaking a key role in the fighting of the fire and will continue to do so. We understand that delays have been caused by the Environment Agency in consenting to the fire service’s method of dealing with the incident. Much to the frustration of everyone involved.
“Had that consent been given much earlier and the fire service been able to implement its strategy, there is every chance the fire would now have been extinguished. We would encourage the authorities to work together to decide on a course of action which will bring this incident to a conclusion.
“We continue to feel desperately for our neighbour and the wider Swindon community and again offer our sincere apologies for the ongoing inconvenience that the fire continues to cause. However, unless the fire service get agreement to their strategy to deal with this incident, it does look like the current situation will continue for some time to come.
“We would reiterate that Averies Recycling operates a fully licensed waster transfer site at Marshgate and has systems in place to deal effectively with waste that is brought into the site. We work closely with the Environment Agency in all aspects of our operation.
“We are aware that it has been reported that there was a prosecution last year. We would confirm that this is correct and related to historic issues dating as far back as April 2010. The fines levied amounted to £13,000.”
The Environment Agency said they raised concerns of a potential fire risk at Averies during a routine visit earlier this year. The body is currently monitoring the water in the River Cole to ensure the fire hasn’t contaminated it.
Anyone concerned about inhaling smoke from the blaze should call NHS 111.