Fire occurs at recycling and waste management plant almost every day on average


Recently published data has shown that a fire takes place at a recycling or waste management plant almost every day on average.

Following a question in Parliament from Derek Twigg MP on what estimate Defra has on the number of fires at recycling plants since 2001, Environment Minister Richard Benyon revealed the Environment Agency statistics for fires at waste management sites between 2001 and 2012.


While 2001 was the best year recorded with 246 fires, 2011 was the worst with 425 fires investigated by the Environment Agency.

The average for the 12 years was 335 fires per year, which means that statistically a fire takes place every 0.92 days at an English recycling or waste management facility.

This is including both regulated and unregulated sites where the cause of pollution is clearly identified as fire. It is also possible that some fires may have led to multiple pollution incidents, which would have led to duplication of data.

Recently, the sector has suffered a number of high profile fires, with the blaze at a Jayplas facility in Brimingham the most prominent.

The full breakdown of incidents per year is:


2001: 246

2002: 343

2003: 398

2004: 337

2005: 346

2006: 379

2007: 290

2008: 275

2009: 337

2010: 345

2011: 425

2012: 302