30 April 2021 by James Langley

Pilsworth landfill reopens after fire

Viridor says its Pilsworth Landfill site in Bury, Greater Manchester, began receiving waste deliveries today (30 April) after suffering a fire earlier this week.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Monday morning and involved a steep pile of shredded household waste measuring 150 metres by 100 metres.

Crews on the scene dampening down the fire on 27 April (picture: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service)

While the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMRFS) first declared it a ‘major incident’, it scaled down its assessment of the fire’s severity the following day.

On 27 April Viridor said the fire was believed just to be at surface level and not deep-seated in the landfill. It brought in a helicopter as part of efforts to “complete fire-fighting” (see letsrecycle.com story).

In a statement given to letsrecycle.com today Viridor said: “The company is grateful to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for its hard work and professionalism in its response to the fire, which started at 1am on Monday, 26 April 2021.

“One fire service crew remains on site. Viridor is using thermal imaging to observe the affected landfill cell and will have a team at the site over the bank holiday weekend. Viridor thanks the public for their patience and apologises for any inconvenience.”


At the height of the fire on 26 April a large plume of smoke could be seen across the surrounding area. Residents as far afield as South Ribble reported smelling the fire, though GMRFS said any health risk posed by the smoke remained low.

Local people were asked to keep windows and doors in their homes and businesses closed as a precaution.

Crews from 10 fire stations tackled the blaze using heavy machinery, hoses and breathing apparatus to direct water on to the burning material. The heavy machinery was in turn deployed to break up the heap and aid firefighting.

There were no injuries, and the cause of the fire remains unknown.


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