‘Significant’ fires hit WEEE sites in Perth and Stalybridge

Two recyclers of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) suffered separate fires at sites in Perth and Stalybridge over the weekend.

In Perth, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) tackled a “significant” fire involving WEEE from household waste recycling centres at Shore Recycling’s site for more than 24 hours.

Sims Lifecycle Services suffered a fire in a concrete bunker at their yard in Stalybridge (picture: @aaronlp1)

Meanwhile, Sims Lifecycle Services suffered a fire in a concrete bunker at their yard in Stalybridge, near Manchester, on 3 September. This fire involved IT and electronic material and was extinguished the same day.

Shore Recycling

In Perth, the SFRS told letsrecycle.com they were first called to Shore Recycling’s site at the Friarton Industrial Estate at just after 4.30am on Sunday.

Firefighters tackled the blaze throughout the day and overnight. Group commander Mike Youngson, who managed the incident, said: “This was a significant incident at its height with six appliances and crews on site to tackle the blaze.

“Working with partners at SEPA, Perth and Kinross Police, Public Health Scotland and Perth and Kinross council, we’ve managed the situation to minimise the disruption to the local community and to keep local people informed. We would like to thank the public for their understanding and co-operation.”

The fire service said there were no reported casualties and all 30 of the firefighters who tackled the blaze had left the scene at lunchtime yesterday (5 September).

A spokesperson for Shore Recycling told letsrecycle.com that the site required a “tidy-up”, but the business would be able to open today.


Shore Recycling bought the Perth facility, said to be the only plant in Scotland capable of recycling fridges, from Viridor in October 2020 (see letsrecycle.com story).

The fire was controlled as a result of the high standard of safety measures on site

– Shore Recycling

In a statement given to letsrecycle.com, the company said: “After the fire incident early yesterday morning, we are pleased to confirm that nobody was injured during the incident.

“The fire was controlled as a result of the high standard of safety measures on site and the extremely prompt action of the local fire brigade. This effort was supported by our fire-trained employees.

“In addition, the incident was environmentally monitored throughout by the on-site attendance of SEPA.

“The fire self-ignited in a pile of waste electrical equipment from household waste recycling centres and was restricted to stock in the yard, away from vehicles, plant and buildings.”

Sims Lifecycle Services

Elsewhere, firefighters were called to a fire in the yard of the Sims Lifecycle Services site on North End Road in Stalybridge at 8am on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: “Four fire engines and an aerial unit attended the scene where a fire involving mixed recycling, containing plastics and computer parts, had broken out.

“A large amount of smoke was coming from the fire and people in the area were advised to keep windows and doors closed.”

Firefighters used hose reels, two jets and a thermal image camera to extinguish the fire and were at the scene for nearly seven hours.

Sims told letsrecycle.com the fire was contained within the purpose-built bunker and the facility remained fully operational and open for business.

In a statement, Sims told letsrecycle.com: “The health and safety of our staff and the communities we work in is of paramount importance to us. We regret the inconvenience that this incident caused to both our business and residential neighbours.

“SLS is committed to the highest safety and environmental standards and will review the incident and take appropriate action to mitigate the possibility of a recurrence, including further review and assessment of inbound material to identify potentially harmful electronic components, e.g. lithium-ion batteries.”


Sims opened its Stalybridge plant in 2005 (see letsrecycle.com story). At the site, the company annually recycles, shreds and manually dismantles up to 32,000 tonnes of IT scrap including PCs, servers and routers, as well as components such as circuit boards and hard drives.

Sims opened its Stalybridge plant in 2005

Sims says it collects material at sites throughout the UK and Europe to be recycled in Stalybridge.

The Environment Agency told letsrecycle.com it was “aware” of the incident and was awaiting a further update from the site as to the possible cause. A spokesperson said they would follow up further, “once the initial findings are known.”

The spokesperson added: “All waste fires are a matter of concern to the Environment Agency and we will follow up with a view to ensuring that prevention, early detection and fire response arrangements are appropriate for the permitted activities.”

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