Recycling chiefs defiant after blaze

BOSSES at a recycling plant that was ravaged by fire have remained defiant and promised it will not stop future operations.

BOSSES at a recycling plant that was ravaged by fire have remained defiant and promised it will not stop them expanding their services.

Around 50 firefighters were called to the Countrystyle Group recycling and composting centre in Parham, near Framlingham, around 4.30pm yesterday.

The blaze - which started in the main recycling building - was caused by engineering operations being carried out at the facility.

A cylinder of highly-flammable acetylene gas was also inside the building, prompting fears it could engulf the whole plant in flames.

Staff were evacuated without injury and firefighters are remaining on site today to carry out their investigations and ensure there are no further issues.

Countrystyle Group acquired the recycling facility back in early 2009 and were in the process of upgrading the system to a new state of the art in-vessel composting system which was near to completion.

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The new system would provide the latest technology for processing organic food and green waste into peat free compost products used to improve soil quality and improve crop yield.

Today bosses at the centre have confirmed that “significant damage” has been caused, resulting in the loss of some equipment and machinery and that arrangements have been made to divert waste to alternative sites.

Trevor Heathcote, chairman of Countrystyle Group, said: “Obviously, the news of the fire has been extremely disappointing after all our hard efforts to get the new system up and running.

“However, I am just pleased that no-one was hurt and I would like to thank Suffolk Fire Service for their assistance and support.

“Although not a great start to the new year, I will not let this set us back from our plans to expand our recycling services.”

Fire crews from Framlingham, Saxmundham, Ipswich, Leiston and Woodbridge were called to the scene and tackled the flames using three jets inside the building and three jets outside.

A turntable ladder and two water bowsers were also used to fight the fire which had spread to the roof.

Half the building and all the walls and roof were destroyed in the fire, which was put out at 8.54pm.