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Collection delays following Somerset landfill fire

By 29/08/2017News

Delays to refuse collections across some areas of South Somerset are expected, following a fire at a landfill site in Castle Cary.

The fire started at the Dimmer Landfill Site – which is operated by waste management company Viridor – yesterday afternoon (28 August).


The fire at the Dimmer Landfill Site involved approx. 100m by 100m of landfilll (Picture: Castle Cary Fire Station)

In a statement, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service described the incident as a ‘deep seated’ fire involving approx. 100m by 100m of landfill.

The statement continued: “Fire Service are aware of the large smoke plume and the environmental impact this causes, we are advising all local residents to keep windows and doors closed.”


In an update last night the Fire Service said crews had managed to reduce the fire front to 20m by 30m, however, the incident would be ‘protracted’.

This morning the Fire Service added: “Crews are currently at work in 2 different sectors, sector 1, there are 2 jets in use and sector 4, 3 jets in use. “

When contacted by, a spokesman for the fire service said: “We’re still at the scene and will be for several hours. Viridor excavators are being used to remove an earth cup and expose hot spots so that crews can damp down.”

In a response to the fire, issued today, the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) – a single joint committee of councillors from all Somerset authorities – said the fire is being ‘brought under control’ by the fire service and staff from site operator Viridor while the Environment Agency monitors the situation to ensure public safety.


The Authority said: “Dimmer Recycling Centre is still open while rubbish from household collections and recycling sites is being diverted to Walpole landfill site, near Bridgwater, with longer journey times likely to mean delays to refuse collections across Mendip and South Somerset.”

The fire has brought renewed warnings from SWP to residents throughout Somerset about what they must not put in their rubbish bins or black sacks.

SWP said: “As well as the danger of a landfill conflagration when staff are working or a blaze in a rubbish collection vehicle, a fire in a rubbish bin could spread, threatening families or businesses.”

The Authority warns of ‘danger items’ that should never be added to the rubbish bin, including hot ash or part-burned materials from domestic or garden fires or barbeques; household batteries; broken glass not carefully wrapped or bagged; and, aerosols.


A SWP spokesperson added: “These are common sense precautions to avoid the risk of fire. And recyclable items – including batteries and aerosols – should never be in household rubbish.”

According to the Authority, around 120,000 tonnes of Somerset household rubbish is landfilled each year at Walpole and Dimmer at a cost to council tax payers of £12 million. From 2020, all Somerset rubbish will be sent to an energy-from-waste plant being built at Avonmouth. (see story)

Crews from Castle Cary, Wincanton, Yeovil, Shepton Mallet and Somerton along with specialist appliances from Street and Bridgwater were mobilised, using 12 pumps and the high volume pump from Taunton. Dorset & Wiltshire also provided appliances to assist Devon & Somerset with this incident.

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Source: Waste Managment