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Update on fire at Lawrence Recycling & Waste Management

The Environment Agency have issued the following statement regarding the fire at the Lawrence recycling site:

On Wednesday 12 December, a fire broke out at Lawrence Recycling & Waste Management on Stourport Road, Kidderminster.

The fire is now under control but is likely to take many days to extinguish completely.  Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue have been at the site 24 hours a day since the fire started, but because the fire is in large piles of waste inside buildings, access is very difficult. 

Group Commander Mick Cadman said: “Our top priority is to reduce the impact on residential and commercial communities.  We will remain at the site until we’re satisfied the fire is completely out and the site is safe.”

Smoke is still being generated by the fire in the immediate locality, and the Health Protection Agency has advised that if anyone is affected by this, they should stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed.  Anyone concerned about the fire’s impact on their health should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Dr James Chipwete, a consultant with the HPA’s West Midlands West Health Protection Unit, said: 'It’s important that local residents understand that the risks to their health are low, however smoke is an irritant so it can make people’s eyes and throat sore. The general advice remains that people should do all they can to stay out of the smoke.”

The Environment Agency has also been on site since Wednesday, trying to minimise the amount of fire fighting water (which is contaminated with chemicals from burnt materials) that escapes from the site. A pumping arrangement is allowing most of the water to be safely taken away by tanker for disposal.

Dave Throup, Environment Manager from the Environment Agency said:  “The tankering operation on site has already prevented 200,000 gallons of contaminated water escaping into the local environment. We will continue to closely monitor the area surrounding the site for environmental impacts.”

Worcestershire County Council, Wyre Forest District Council, Worcestershire Regulatory Services, Severn Trent Water, The Canal and Rivers Trust and Natural England have all been working with the main responding agencies to manage the situation.

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This page was last reviewed 17 December 2012 at 10:34 by Helen Ramsay.
The page is next due for review 15 June 2013.
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