Fire At Illegal Plastics Recycling Site Started Deliberately

A fire that broke out at an illegal plastics recycling plant earlier this week was found to have been started deliberately, an investigation has found.

The fire broke out at Hanbury Plastic Recycling on Redhills Road, Milton, at 8.21am Sunday (5 February) morning. The incident involved a building approximately 100 metres by 60 metres that contained recycled plastics.

At the height of the incident over 50 firefighters were tackling the fire. Vehicles sent to the scene included six fire engines, sent from Hanley, Sandyford, Leek, and Newcastle along with a Control vehicle from Stone, aerial ladder platform from Longton and the high volume pump from Rugeley.

Group manager, Toby Wilson, revealed the roof of the building had collapsed so no firefighters were sent inside. Instead, they surrounded the fire and fought it externally.

Firefighters have continued to tackle the fire from the outside of the building and operations have now been scaled down to just two engines.

Reports from local media Staffs Live claimed that Hanbury Plastics Recycling had been operating illegally.

The EA was quoted as saying: “They have never held an environmental permit and we have issued legal notices to clear the waste plastics from the site.

”We instructed the company to remove the waste which went from a peak of around 10,000 tonnes, to about 1,500 tonnes at the time of the fire.”

Now an investigation into a fire has found the blaze was started deliberately.

Fire investigation officer, Ian Broadhead, said: “We have worked closely with Staffordshire Police during the investigation and concluded that the fire was started deliberately.

“The Service will now be helping police with their investigation and further enquiries.”


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  1. I hope that the Unautherized people who operated this site will feel the full force of the E A s power to discourage others from doing this. It does beg the question,how were they allowed to operate this site,without the E A being aware of what was going on,or were they aware,& did nothing about it.
    Maybe that’s because the E A say they only have enough staff to Police the sites that are registered legally. Effectively wasteing valuable time,effort & man/woman power on sites that have planning /and waste site licensing registrations.
    That appears to be the problem ,they apparently don’t look into Unautherized sites,culminating in what appears to have happened here

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