Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service Still Battling Large Blaze at Telford Recycling Plant

On Monday 26 April 2020, thick grey smoke could be seen billowing in the sky across Telford as a major fire broke out in the recycling centre on Greenway Polymers site in Wellington. Plastic waste and machinery caught fire at the plant sending disruption not only to nearby residents but to schools, businesses and M54 users.

It is now days later and the waste is still burning. Shropshire Fire Services are working tirelessly to control the fire and at the height of the fire over 60 firefighters were tackling the flames. Due to the complexity of the materials on fire, the fire services believe it could take around 7-10 days to resolve, with a clean-up operation potentially taking months.

It is thought that the recycling plant will now be demolished for safety reasons with the structure being dismantled to allow crews full access to the area.

Public Health England has given the following advisory message:

Any smoke can irritate airways, skin and eyes and cause coughing, wheezing breathlessness and chest pain. Chemicals in smoke can also worsen health problems like asthma and heart conditions so people should carry their medication if they are in areas affected by the smoke. Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma. People with asthma should carry their inhaler. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111.

Fire officers have recommended that people stay away from the area and that nearby residents and businesses in close proximity continue to keep their doors and windows shut until the smoke has dispersed. Many have also been warned of the hazards of the ash in addition to the smoke.

An investigation has started to identify the cause of the fire and the environment agency is monitoring the air quality around the site as well as the water quality downstream of the fire.

If you have any of the above symptoms or experience a worsening of an existing condition, we firstly recommend that you seek medical advice or call 111. Secondly, if you go on to develop chest, heart or lung problems as a result of the toxic fumes from the fire and you would like advice, then please contact our specialist personal injury team for more information.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible and in any event within a maximum of three years from when you become aware of any problem.