Engineers called in after Leeds waste plant fire

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Structural engineers have been called in amid fears that parts of a Leeds recycling plant gutted by fire will have to be torn down.

Firefighters were still on the scene at HW Martin Waste in Beeston yesterday following a huge blaze that started in the early hours of Wednesday.

Work begins clearing up after the fire at HW Martin Leeds Recycling, Beeston.

Work begins clearing up after the fire at HW Martin Leeds Recycling, Beeston.

And they told the YEP that damage caused by the fire meant it was likely parts of the facility, which is used by Leeds City Council to recycle some of the city’s waste, would be demolished.

Sean O’Flynn, Watch Commander at Hunslet Fire Station, which was first to respond to the incident, said: “Operationally, were still at the site and waste is being removed from inside.

“Structural engineers are then going to have to look at the site and see whether they’re looking at a partial demolition.”

He said damage had been done to support beams and the roof at the site, which would have to be made safe.

Two fire engines remained on the scene yesterday, ensuring the buildings were safe while work was carried out.

At the height of the blaze 60 firefighters attended the incident after being called at around 1.30am.

Nobody was injured as a result of the fire, the cause of which is still unknown. Investigations are continuing at the scene.

The YEP understands the fire involved bales of recycling material, papers and plastics inside the building.

Earlier this week, bosses at Leeds City Council said it was hoped the fire would not have any adverse impact on bin collections in the city.

The authority sends recyclable material from green household bins to HW Martin for treatment. They said contingency plans were in place so green bin collections could continue while the Beeston site was out of use.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said: “Due to the fire at the HW Martin recycling facility, we’ve put in place contingency plans so we can maintain green bin collections from Leeds residents whilst the site is out of use.

“These plans ensure that recycling will continue whilst the HW Martin site is inoperative. Residents can be assured that none of these materials will be wasted or landfilled and that recycling remains our priority.

“We are hopeful that these contingency arrangements will not impact on collections and residents should continue to put out their green bins on their normal collection day. We’ll be working with HW Martin to get operations back to normal as soon as possible. We’re hopeful that normal service will resume on Friday.”

The council sends plastics, food and drink cans, aerosols, paper and cardboard to the site for recycling.