REMOVAL of waste from the Averies Recycling centre in Marshgate should begin early next week as the company continues to use their second yard for operations.

On Thursday the Environment Agency were called on by Environment Minister Liz Truss to force the company to transfer unburned waste to a permitted site to allow the fire service to extinguish the three-week-old blaze.

Plans are now being put into motion quickly and the company should begin transferring waste by the beginning of next week.

Meanwhile the company is still operating as usual and accepting trucks of waste into their nearby yard.

Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, said he was delighted by the news after he put presure on the minister to get things moving.

“South Swindon MP Robert Buckland and I were adamant that as the Environment Agency had granted the licence and were responsible for checking the terms of that licence that they should have a responsibility for any associated costs,” he said.

“I am delighted that after Robert and I spoke to the minister, pressure was applied and common sense prevailed.

“Local residents have suffered enough without also having to pay or deal with issues relating to any temporary site.

“This is the right and proper outcome. We were keeping the minister updated and when it came towards what would have been the emergency cabinet meeting we were concerned Swindon Borough Council would have inadvertently taken responsibility.

“We made it clear that we needed to move quickly.

“Now that the Environment Agency are taking full responsibility we hope they will hold Averies fully to account.

“The costs should be borne ultimately by Averies and I expect the Environment Agency to pursue that.”

James Mahoney, area manager at Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The plan is moving forward at speed and preparations are being put in place to facilitate waste being moved from the site.

“This is a complicated and difficult operation and we remain grateful for people’s understanding and co-operation, particularly those directly affected the fire.

“Due to the complexities involved, it’s impossible to give precise timescales, although we hope the first truckloads of waste will be removed early next week.

“The more aggressive firefighting will follow soon after and we’ll be engaging with residents and businesses in the close vicinity.

“Once again I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support at this difficult time and reassure them that we endeavour to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum and bring this fire to the swiftest conclusion.”