Waste move aims to extinguish Averies fire
5:30am Wednesday 6th August 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
AUTHORITIES dealing with the Averies Recycling fire are optimistic that removing extinguished waste from the Marshgate site will help with putting the blaze out.
Firefighters are working with Averies, Swindon Council, NHS England, Wiltshire Police and the Environment Agency to deal with the blaze that started 16 days ago.
Plans were announced to remove around half the burnt waste to give crews room to work and step up their efforts.
After a meeting yesterday, Averies agreed to back the move and work with the authorities to find a suitable location for the waste to be stored temporarily.
Swindon Council leader David Renard said: “We recognise the disruption this ongoing fire is causing residents and businesses in the vicinity, which is why we’re determined to end it as quickly as possible.
“The meeting with Averies was constructive and all partner agencies are working together towards the same goal which is to extinguish the fire faster.
“The plan is progressing but there are complicated processes involved. Unfortunately, it’s not something which can be resolved immediately.
“We are therefore grateful for the ongoing patience and co-operation of those affected by the fire and would like to reassure people that every effort is being made to bring this to the swiftest conclusion.”
Due to the risk of it reigniting, the waste cannot be taken to a landfill. Appropriate sites are being identified.
Since the fire began, smoke has swept across Swindon affecting neighbouring residents and businesses. Averies has repeatedly apologised for the disruption that the incident has caused.
A spokesman for the company said: “We continue to feel desperately for our neighbours and the wider Swindon community and again offer our sincere apologies for the ongoing inconvenience that the fire continues to cause.”
Usually, fires like the one at Averies, would be extinguished on a managed basis, potentially taking several months to burn out but due to site’s location, firefighters want to deal with it more intensely.
The authorities have not released a target date for when they hope to have the fire out while the cause of the incident is still being investigated.
The Environment Agency is monitoring the water in the River Cole to ensure the fire has not contaminated it.
The council is monitoring what effect the smoke is having on Swindon’s air quality. Anyone concerned about inhaling smoke should call NHS 111. Those wishing to report an environmental issue can call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.