Former EcoCycle site hit by fire
23 October 2012
Fire crews from the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are today still in attendance at the premises of recycling firm JL Sorting at 3 Johnsons Lane, Widnes.
The company’s warehouses which contained large amounts of recyclable materials have suffered severe damage in a blaze which started on Sunday evening when 15 appliances and a high volume pump attended.
The fire involved large amounts of recyclables including paper and plastics. Speaking yesterday, a spokeswoman for the fire service said: “We are still dealing with the fire and it has been hard to contain because of the large amount of plastics involved.”
Industry sources told letsrecycle.com that they thought the blaze was at the premises of EcoCycle. However, Cheshire Fire Service confirmed the blaze was at the premises of JL Sorting. The confusion appears to have arisen regarding the owner of the premises as the site has changed hands since the summer with EcoCyle having occupied it for several years.
The former company on the site, Doumac Ltd, which traded as EcoCycle Waste, is in liquidation having been placed in this position in August with losses approaching £2 million. Administrators Begbie Traynors handled the process. The recycling company's work included sorting local authority material although it had lost at least one contract in recent years – Denbighshire, for example, had sent its recyclables to EcoCycle but now sends them to UPM at Shotton for sorting.
JL Sorting was formed in July 2012 with a proposed registered office address also of 3 Johnsons Lane, Widnes. The company has directors as Andrew McQueen, Leslie Douthwaite and Colin Douthwaite. It acquired the assets of EcoCycle before the end of the liquidation process.
JL Sorting’s website describes the company as operating on a seven acre site and having three 30,000 sq ft warehouses. Also on the site is a “state-of-the-art automated plant.”
All three of the company’s buildings are believed to have been damaged in the blaze. The fire service explained that on arrival at the incident they found a warehouse “measuring approximately 60 metres by 30 metres well alight. Attendance was increased to six and then 10 fire engines. The high volume pump was also sent to the scene to provide water.”
It added: “The warehouse contains recycling plastics and paper. Recycling material stored outside the warehouse has then spread the fire to two neighbouring units which also contain recycled products.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service this morning (October 23) said: “The amount of smoke coming off the site has reduced overnight and while there are no immediate safety concerns, further air monitoring is being carried out this morning. As a precaution, however, householders in the area are being urged to keep their doors and windows shut.
“Fire crews remain at the scene of the incident and are continuing to fight this fire.
“Residents should continue to keep their doors and windows shut as there is still a large amount of smoke coming from the fire. This is likely to continue throughout the night and into tomorrow.”
The fire service concluded: “Firefighters are doing all they can to bring this difficult fire under control. They would like to thank the community for their patience, but they are also warning that the disruption caused is likely to continue for potentially the next few days.”
JL Sorting could not be contacted for comment.