Swindon Averies fire-hit waste to be dumped in landfill

Averies Recycling Ltd - recycling fire in Swindon
Image caption Some 3,000 tonnes of waste from Averies in Swindon is set to be dumped into landfill

A recycling site blaze that has been burning since last month in Swindon has led to its owner being forced to dump tonnes of material in landfill.

Averies in Marshgate has been ordered by the Environment Agency to remove 3,000 tonnes of waste in order for the fire to be finally put out.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue manager, James Mahoney said: "We hope the first truckloads of waste will be removed early next week."

The waste will go to Blunsdon landfill.

Averies has refused to comment about the waste being removed.

Before it is placed in landfill, the water-sodden waste will be checked it is not alight or likely to combust.

Image caption The waste removal will be a complex operation as the rubbish is stacked 30ft high in places

The rubbish pile is 30ft (9.1m) high in places and needs to be dismantled carefully to prevent the smouldering mass from bursting into flames again once it gets exposed to air.

Fire crews said smoke levels are likely to temporarily increase as more water is put on the rubbish stack.

The Environment Agency has said the firm cannot currently trade from the site in Marshgate under the terms of the enforcement notice.

Julia Simpson from the agency said: "It means they will not be able to trade on the site now.

"Clearly, we look at whether an operator is fit and proper to carry out their responsibilities and currently Averies are not carrying out their responsibilities on site."

But she declined to confirm whether the site would be shut down permanently.

The waste removal will cost about £500,000, which the agency has said will initially be paid for by taxpayers.

However, it will seek to recover this money from Averies.

If Averies does not remove the waste itself, the work will be carried out by a contractor employed by the Environment Agency.

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