2 August 2013

Leeds MRF closed after fire

A recycling facility in Leeds remains closed after it was damaged by fire earlier this week.

The West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service was alerted to the blaze at HW Martins materials recycling facility (MRF) in Beeson at 1.35am on Wednesday (July 31).

HW Martin's 5m MRF opened in July 2007 and has an 80,000 tonne capacity

HW Martin’s 5m MRF opened in July 2007 and has an 80,000 tonne capacity

Around 60 firefighters and 12 engines from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service attended the blaze at HW Martin Waste in Beeston, which was reported at 1.35am on Wednesday (July 31).

The fire has now been contained and fire service officials are working with the company to investigate how it started. Although the site is still closed, a spokesman for Leeds City Council has stated there is growing confidence the plant could be operational again within a few days.


The Environment Agency were also on hand to establish whether the correct procedures had been followed, and if the fire posed a risk to air quality.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: The Environment Agency has been in attendance at the site of H W Martin where a fire broke out among bales of plastic film and cardboard. The bales had been appropriately managed with fire breaks in place to prevent the spread of fire, and as a result of this the fire was contained in one part of the site.

We are confident that the incident has not had a detrimental impact on the environment. Despite there being some smoke, there are no concerns around air quality, and all of the surface water drains have been sealed off, with the fire water run-off being directed to the foul sewer.


Our officers will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with the fire service and Yorkshire Water to ensure that the environment is protected.

HW Martins 5 million MRF opened in July 2007, and has the capacity to sort up to 80,000 tonnes of mixed dry recyclables per year from mixed or single source inputs (see letsrecycle.com story).

The blaze is the latest in a series of fires to sweep the UK in recent weeks. Other waste sites affected by fire include Jayplas depot in Smethwick on June 30 (see letsrecycle story), SWEEEP Kuusakoskis WEEE recycling facility in Sittingbourne on July 7 (see letsrecycle story), and Scotgens gasification plant on July 18 (see letsrecycle story).

Addressing the trend, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) last month announced safety guidance at waste transfer and recycling sites was to be reviewed (see letsrecycle story).

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HW Martin

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service asked for care to be taken and for businesses to do their part in preventing fires. HW Martin declined to comment.

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