Fire at Veolia recycling centre in Portsmouth sees waste collections diverted

RECYCLING collections in Portsmouth may face some hurdles in the coming days after a fire in a waste plant in the city.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 3:25 pm
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 3:27 pm

A blaze broke out at the Portsmouth Materials Recovery Facility, which is run by Veolia on Quartremaine Road, at about 11.50am yesterday.

The city council says it is waiting to hear from Veolia about the extent of the damage and the cause, but that recycling vehicles in Portsmouth that would usually deposit their collections in Quatremaine Road are being sent to Alton for the time being.

A city council spokesperson said: ‘We are currently having to divert recycling collection vehicles from the Portsmouth MRF to Alton, to process materials, and at this stage do not know the full extent of how this additional journey may impact recycling collections in the city.

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Fire at Veolia in Portsmouth on 2nd June 2021 Picture: Stuart Vaizey

‘Residents are advised to present their recycling as normal, but we will update our social media accounts with any amendments to recycling collection dates, if required.

‘The fire has not impacted the disposal of rubbish at the Portsmouth Energy Recovery Facility (incinerator) or the recycling of food waste, so these collections should be unaffected.’

A spokesperson for Veolia said: ‘The site was immediately evacuated ensuring no-one was injured. Our fire suppression system immediately activated to control and extinguish the fire whilst emergency services attended the scene.‘The safety of our staff is extremely important to us and so we will be investigating the cause of the fire further.’

Firefighters from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Veolia site when the fire started in some paper, plastics and metal.

Fire at Veolia in Portsmouth on 2nd June 2021 Picture: Stuart Vaizey

Crews from Cosham, Southsea, Portchester, Havant and Fareham were called.

Two men were assessed on site by paramedics, however, neither were taken to hospital.

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Fire crews called to blaze at Veolia recycling centre in Portsmouth

The fire service told The News that there was ‘a recycling building on fire, involving plastics, paper and metal’ and added that the building was being evacuated.

Fire at Veolia in Portsmouth on 2nd June 2021 Picture: Stuart Vaizey

Later in the afternoon a spokesman confirmed: ‘The fire is now out. Firefighters continue to work to clear the smoke and cool down the machinery involved in the fire.

‘Officers are currently planning to release a number of the crews on the scene and scale the incident down to a few fire engines.’

A spokeswoman for the South Central Ambulance Service added: ‘We were called at 12.38pm.

‘We sent to the scene our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) two ambulance officers and an ambulance crew, they were assessing two male patients at the scene, and no-one was taken to hospital.’

A fire at the Veolia recycling plant in Quatremaine Road in Portsmouth on June 2, 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

Video submitted by Charlotte Brown.

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Fire at Veolia in Portsmouth on 2nd June 2021 Picture: Stuart Vaizey