Fire crews still at ‘large’ County Durham MRF fire

Fire crews are still present at the scene of a fire which broke out at a recycling plant on Monday morning (31 August) in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

The fire department advised residents to keep doors and windows closed on tiwtter

Crews first arrived to the scene at the Old Eldon Brickworks facility at 5am on Monday where the fire department said approximately 4,000 tonnes of waste was on fire.

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington Fire Rescue Service (CDDFRC) told letsrecycle today (4 September): “At this time we are continuing to maintain a presence at the scene working alongside partners from Environment Agency, Durham County Council and Public Health England to manage a controlled burn and mitigate risk to the public and the environment.”

Smaller piles

The fire department said on Tuesday (1 September) that they were extinguishing smaller piles of waste at a time, however that due to the “extremely large amount of waste involved” they were expected to continue operations for a “considerable amount of time”.

CDDFRC advised local residents to keep doors and windows closed due to “large amounts of smoke and possible hazardous materials being involved”.

Crews and senior officers from Bishop Auckland, Spennymore and Peterlee attended the scene.

At this time the cause of the fire is unknown.

Falcons management

Operations at the material recycling facility (MRF) are currently carried out by waste management company Falcons Management Ltd, which acquired the site in 2019.

The Brickworks has the capacity to process up to  300,000 tonnes per year and has been operating as a recycling plant since 2016.

Enforcement notice

It was reported locally that an enforcement notice was issued on the recycling plant just weeks before the fire broke out.

It is believed that the enforcement notice was issued due to the unauthorised use of the land for the storage and importing of waste.

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