Wiltshire

Fire-hit Averies Recycling Ltd 'legally obliged' to remove waste

Averies Recycling Ltd - recycling fire in Swindon
Image caption The blaze at Marshgate raged from 21 July until 15 September 2014

The operator of a fire-hit recycling plant in Swindon that has gone into administration is still legally obliged to remove all waste from the site, the Environment Agency has said.

A blaze raged at Averies Recycling (Swindon) Ltd's Marshgate site for more than two months last year.

The Environment Agency subsequently revoked Averies' licence.

It said despite being in administration, Averies must remove all waste from the site by 15 April.

"It is still obliged to comply with the revocation notice and the associated conditions of the permit," a spokesman said.

"The notice contains steps which legally oblige the company to return the site to a satisfactory state and to remove the risks of pollution."

The Environment Agency has estimated the cost of clearing the site at £1m.

Council 'not liable'

Swindon Borough Council said if Averies failed to comply with the revocation notice, the authority would not be liable for any cost to clear the site as it is privately owned.

A council spokesperson said: "We are working closely with the Environment Agency to explore all avenues which will ensure the owner of both businesses, in Brindley Close and Marshgate, takes responsibility for clearing up these sites.

"The costs involved are significant and we remain committed to minimising any impact on the public purse."

The Environment Agency estimated the cost of tackling the blaze, which burned from 21 July until 15 September, at £500,000.

The fire was finally put out after 3,000 tonnes of waste were removed to give firefighters access.

Averies Recycling also runs a skip hire site in Brindley Close, Cheney Manor, on land owned by the local authority.

The waste operator has until 4 March to clear that area.

The BBC has been unable to contact Averies for a comment.

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