'Illegal' waste at fire-hit Hanbury Plastics Recycling site
A recycling plant destroyed by a fire was storing illegal waste, the Environment Agency (EA) has said.
Sunday's blaze in Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, centred on a building containing recycled plastics.
The EA said the operator of the site, Hanbury Plastics Recycling (Stoke) Ltd, had "never held an environmental permit" and it had been issued with legal notices to clear waste plastics.
The BBC has contacted Hanbury Plastics Recycling for comment.
The EA said: "Hanbury Plastics Recycling (Stoke) Ltd operated the site at Redhills Lane and it is an illegal waste site.
"We instructed the company to remove the waste, which went from a peak of around 10,000 tons to about 1,500 tons at the time of the fire."
A joint police and fire investigation into the blaze is continuing.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which remained at the site on Monday, said plastic material was still burning inside the building.
There was a strong smell of burning plastic at the scene on Monday, a BBC reporter at the scene said.
Nearby residents were advised to keep their windows and doors shut.
In 2014, residents called for the centre to be closed after it was told to remove excess waste.