A FIRE which caused structural damage to a recycling site in Taunton was continuing to burn more than a week after it started.
Somerset Council’s household waste recycling centre (HWRC) in Priorswood, Taunton, was shut after the blaze broke out in the early hours of Tuesday, October 3.
It will remain closed for the foreseeable future and residents have been asked instead to use HWRCs in Poole, in Wellington, and in Bridgwater, which have been ordered to stay open seven days a week.
Staff have been redeployed from Taunton to support the Wellington and Bridgwater centres until the Taunton site can be safely reopened.
Both Wellington and Bridgwater saw a large influx of visitors at the weekend and people are being advised to save their visit until midweek if possible.
Wellington was particularly busy, so it has been suggested residents should use Bridgwater if practical.
Kerbside collections have not been affected by the closure and residents should continue to put out their refuse and recycling as usual.
The Taunton recycling centre is managed by Biffa on the council’s behalf.
Although a small fire was still burning, structural engineers were able to access the site on Tuesday (October 10) but will take several days to conclude their investigations.
The fire was in the site’s material recovery facility, where waste is sorted to be sent for recycling and which is not usually accessible by the public.
It now needs to be made safe or demolished before the wider HWRC can be opened again to the public.
Somerset executive Cllr Dixie Darch said: “I want to thank residents for their patience and understanding.
“We are sorry that you cannot access the site yet.
“Teams are working hard to find the best way to make the site safe, but please bear with us while plans are put in place to reopen.”
Fire crews from Wellington, Wiveliscombe, Williton, and Minehead were among 60 firefighters tackling the blaze at its height.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.