Call to clean up debris at site of recycling centre blaze at JL Sorting in Widnes

The fire that destroyed the recycling centre last October

The fire that destroyed the recycling centre last October

First published in News
Last updated

CONCERNS about debris left at a disused recycling centre have still not been addressed months after a huge fire destoyed the Widnes site.

The JL Sorting plastic recycling centre on Johnsons Lane has been closed since the inferno last October but the site has not been cleared and debris remains.

Halton MP Derek Twigg has written a letter to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

In it, he writes: “My concerns were that since the fire last October, there had been no progress by the Environment Agency in getting the owners to clean up the site and unfortunately this is still the situation to date.

“Debris is still being blown around by the wind onto the premises of neighbouring businesses.”

Mr Twigg is yet to receive a response but is determined to keep applying pressure in the hope that something will be done.

Speaking to the World, he said: “It is worrying that this amount of dust and debris is being allowed to fly about and it has been worse with the hot weather.

“I just want to keep the pressure on, it’s not acceptable how long it has taken to get it sorted and since then we have had another fire at a different site.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We are well aware of concerns surrounding the site in Johnsons Lane and have met with JL Sorting as we seek to ensure all outstanding issues, including the removal of waste at the site, get fully resolved.

“As a regulator, there are a number of enforcement options open to us, should the operator fail to take the necessary action we have outlined.”

The agency has issued a number of measures to JL Sorting that they must adhere to including daily inspections of the site and taking appropriate action to address problems.

Asbestos has also been discovered on the site, but was shown to be below occupational health exposure limits.

“It is an eyesore and secondly, windy weather could spread it around, so I am just responding to the complaints I have had from local businesses, of which there have been many,” Mr Twigg added.

No-one from JL Sorting was available for comment.

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