New guidelines to reduce waste fires
New guidance issued recently will help operators take the necessary steps to minimize the risk of fires in waste sites in Wales.
Several major fires at waste sites have been in recent years that have taken up to three weeks to turn it off.
The new guidelines - issued by the Natural Wealth Wales (CNC) and the three fire and rescue service in Wales - based on the experiences of real firefighting and tests conducted by the Health and Safety Forum Waste Industry, supported Association of Fire Chiefs.
The tests will investigate how quickly the different types of waste burned and the heat they generate.
The waste includes waste experienced loose and baled waste, plastic, paper and cardboard, rubber, wood waste and fuel derived from waste.
Tests were to burn a large amount of waste in order to simulate the experience of the fire and rescue services when they are fighting fires real waste.
D She said Gareth Davies, Senior Environment Officer for Wales Natural Wealth:
"Our job is to ensure that waste operators are complying with their licenses and have plans in place effective to reduce the risk to people and the environment.
"Fires can smoke generated waste and have a major impact on communities as they can burn for weeks.
"There was a need to update the previous guidelines to include recent findings derived from actual fires and fire tests.
We encourage all operators to follow the new guidelines and ensure they are managing waste piles in the safest way possible. For example, the use of concrete walls as firebreaks enables operators to store more waste on their premises, and closer together.
"Then, we should see a reduction in waste fires across Wales, and see less impact on the environment and on communities if such fires occur."
Worked officer of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service with CNC for six months to help develop the guidelines. And two other officers of the fire and rescue services have joined to assist with the implementation of CNC work.
The guidance will be phased in with the current waste operators and will apply to all new waste permit.
Full guidance by visiting www.cyfoethnaturiol.cymru/cyfarwyddydtrwydded
The guidelines have been put together by the CNC in collaboration with:
- South Wales Fire and Rescue Service
- Fire and Rescue Service Mid and West Wales, and
- North Wales Fire and Rescue Service
Tests were burned in 2015 and 2016 by the Health and Safety Forum Waste Industry, supported by the Association of Fire Chiefs.