Firefighters continue to tackle recycling centre blaze as Sunderland residents are told to use city site

Crews of firefighters are continuing to battle a recycling centre blaze for a second day, with the incident expected to continue for “several days” to come.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 3:35 pm

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service still has three appliances, an officer, a command support unit and its high volume pumping unit at Campground Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Wrekenton.

The site is run by Gateshead Council, but is accessible to Wearside residents, with Sunderland City Council asking people to use Beach Street HWRC in Deptford instead.

The blaze broke out at 2.30am yesterday, Sunday, February 28, and could be seen for miles as plumes of smoke rose from the compound off Springwell Road.

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Residents have been asked to keep their windows and doors closed and avoid the area.

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Suez, which operates the site, said the building which caught light contains non-hazardous general household waste collected from recycling centres over the weekend.

It said the fire service was on the scene within 10 minutes and is working alongside the company, the two councils and the Environment Agency at the scene.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service shared a series of photos taken from the scene of the blaze.

Suez has said it is expected to take several days before the fire is completely extinguished and the site made safe.

A spokesperson added: “The fire service is advising residents living in the area to keep away from the site and to keep their doors and windows closed.

“Fortunately, no one has been injured, but both the transfer station and adjacent Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) will remain closed until the fire service deems it safe to reopen.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service firefighters at the blaze. Photo by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

“We would like to thank Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and colleagues at Gateshead Council, Sunderland City Council and the Environment Agency for their continued efforts to manage the fire and we apologise for the disruption to our neighbours and the local community.

“The cause of the fire and the extent to which the facility has been damaged remain unknown but will be subject to investigation in due course.

“Access to the site is currently restricted to the emergency services and essential staff.”

Smoke has been seen rising from the building for miles around. Photo by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Gateshead residents are being asked to use its other site in Blaydon, with no disruption expected to household waste collections as a result of the incident.

Due to ongoing Covid restrictions, appointments must be made to visit Beach Street HWRC via https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/household-waste-centres.

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