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Thousands of tonnes of unburnt waste is removed in Swindon

Thousands of tonnes of unburnt waste is removed
Thousands of tonnes of unburnt waste is removed Credit: ITV News

Thousands of tonnes of unburnt waste is being removed from a recycling plant in Swindon that has now been burning for more than four weeks. It's hoped this will give crews space to tackle the fire at Averies in Marshgate more aggressively. The Environment Agency took control of the site after the owners failed to comply with orders to deal with the material.

Warning from Swindon hospital after hundreds of staff abused

Warning from Swindon hospital after hundreds of staff abused
Warning from Swindon hospital after hundreds of staff abused Credit: ITV News West Country

The Great Western Hospital in Swindon is warning that patients who are abusive could be refused treatment and even prosecuted. It comes after 232 members of staff reported being assaulted in the past year, including the Emergency Department consultant who was swung at, pinned to a wall and even had an instrument trolley thrown at him by patients. The "Respect Us" campaign will remind people that verbal and physical abuse will not be tolerated.

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Waste removed from Averies at last

Tonnes of unburnt waste have started to be moved from the Averies Recycling site in Marshgate, Swindon after the owner failed to comply with orders to remove it.

Environment Agency contractors have begun removing up to 3,000 tonnes of the non-hazardous waste which will create the necessary space for Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service to tackle the blaze more aggressively.

The waste is being moved by Hills Waste Solutions and comprises mainly non-recyclable, commercial material. It is being checked and damped down as a precaution before it leaves Marshgate and goes on to be transported to the permitted landfill site in Chapel Farm, Blunsdon.

Firecrew at Averies
Firecrew at Averies Credit: ITV Westcountry

It is anticipated that, within a few days, enough waste will have left the site for firefighters to be able to intensify their work. Preparations are underway to protect the drainage systems ahead of thousands of litres of water per minute being used to tackle the blaze, which started four weeks ago.

As this more aggressive firefighting begins, the smoke experienced during the early days of the fire is likely to return. Air quality levels will continue to be monitored daily by Swindon Borough Council and Public Health England so that local people can be advised on any necessary health precautions.

The waste transfer operation forms part of a multi-agency plan, which is being advanced by partner organisations committed to the joint aim of putting the fire out faster for local residents and businesses.

– Environment Agrency

Following enforcement action taken by the Environment Agency, control has been taken of the Marshgate site and work is underway to remove significant volumes of waste, which has precluded fire crews from being able to tackle the blaze full blast. In the coming days, it is hoped sufficient waste will have been taken away so this more intensified firefighting can begin. This is a long and complicated operation and we are grateful for the ongoing support and co-operation of residents and local businesses affected by the fire, which we all agree has been going on too long. Another step forward has been taken today and rest assured we’re working hard to minimise disruption and ensure normality can resume as soon as possible. Inevitably, the smoke means things will unfortunately seem worse before they get better and once again I thank everyone for their patience at this difficult time.

– James Mahoney, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service

Swindon hospital given poor rating for food hygiene

Great Western Hospital given poor rating for food hygiene
Great Western Hospital given poor rating for food hygiene Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The company that provides food at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon has been given just 1 star out of 5 for it's food hygiene. The Food Standards Agency gave the contractor Carillion the poor rating for how it stored food and recorded temperatures. The Department of Health said "urgent action" is needed. In response Carillion say they are already making changes including retraining staff.

Waste removal expected to start in next few days

Fire engines at Averies recycling
The Environment Agency will carry out the removal work Credit: ITV News West Country

Work is expected to begin in the next few days to remove rubbish from Averies recycling in Swindon. The Environment Agency will carry out the work after the the firm failed to respond to enforcement notices. Three thousand tonnes of waste have been smouldering for nearly a month, causing problems for residents who live nearby. The work to remove the rubbish will allow firefighters to tackle the blaze more easily.

Environment Agency to begin removing Averies waste

The Environment Agency will begin removing waste from Averies Recycling in Swindon 'as soon as possible' after the firm failed to respond to enforcement notices.

We intend to use our powers to remove waste from the site to allow Wiltshire Fire and Rescue services the space to extinguish the fire.

Environment Agency contractors will start work as soon as possible .

We are using our powers because the operator has failed to respond to previous enforcement notices.

– Environment Agency spokesperson

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Averies ordered to remove waste today

Averies recycling centre
Three thousand tonnes of waste have been smouldering for nearly a month Credit: ITV News West Country

The Environment Agency has ordered Averies Recycling firm in Swindon to start moving burning waste from the plant today.

Averies recycling centre
The Agency will send in their own contractors if removal doesn't begin Credit: ITV News West Country

The work to remove the rubbish will allow firefighters to tackle the blaze more easily.

Three thousand tonnes of waste have been smouldering for nearly a month, causing problems for residents who live nearby. The Agency says they will send in their own contractors if the removal doesn't begin today.

Burning waste plant ordered to remove 3000 tonnes

The Environment Agency has ordered the owners of a recycling plant that's been on fire for more than three weeks to remove some of the waste - so that firefighters can tackle it properly.

Crews have been at Averies Recycling in Swindon since the fire began - but haven't had enough space to work properly. 3000 tones of material will start being moved tomorrow.

The full statement from Swindon Borough Council can be found below:

"Using their enforcement powers, the Environment Agency has ordered Averies Recycling (Swindon) Limited (ARSL) to remove a total of 3,000 tonnes of waste from their Marshgate site in Swindon. Averies Recycling (Swindon) Limited (ARSL) will need to begin to remove the waste tomorrow. The Environment Agency will continue to work as part of a multi-agency response to this incident, with Swindon Borough Council and other partners, to make ARSL take action and remove the waste. As the operators of the site, ARSL has the responsibility to remove and pay for the waste to be removed from the site to allow Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) sufficient space for the fire to be fully extinguished."

– Swindon Borough Council
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