A SITE has been identified to temporarily store some of the non-hazardous waste from Averies Recycling in Marshgate, which holds the key to firefighters being able to fully put out the ongoing fire faster.

The council-owned former Groundwell Park & Ride, in Cricklade Road, will be used following a full assessment of the site which has been carried out with partner organisations to make sure it is suitable and safe. Preparatory work is now underway so the transferral process can then start. Once the fire is fully extinguished, the intention is to return the waste to the Averies Recycling site as soon as possible.

As the compound is extensively covered by trees, the waste will be largely out of sight. All of the burnt waste will be fully extinguished and checked before being taken to the site. It will also be covered over to minimise any adverse smell and, in addition to the high perimeter fencing, 24-hour security is being arranged to maximise public safety.

This work forms part of a multi-agency plan, driven by the common goal to bring the fire, which has been alight since July 21, to the swiftest conclusion. The only way to achieve this is by removing a significant quantity, estimated to be around half, of the waste which is preventing fire crews from tackling the blaze more aggressively. Removal of the waste will free up space, allowing a containment area to be created so firefighters can ramp up resources and intensify their work.

The waste cannot just be taken to landfill as it would increase the risk of further fires. Although fires of this nature would normally be allowed to burn out on a managed basis, likely to last many months, this is not a viable option due to the disruption it is causing for local businesses and residents.

Following a meeting with Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd earlier this week, the site operator has indicated co-operation with the plans and a willingness to move the waste.