Peterborough residents urged to be BBQ-safe after two fires at recycling centre

Residents are being urged to be barbecue-safe this summer following two fires at the Fengate Household Recycling Centre.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 2:51 pm

The small fires, which occurred on June 13 and 19, were the result of hot ash and coals from disposable barbecues which were disposed of incorrectly.

The correct way to dispose of a barbecue is to carefully cover the coals in sand, or pour water over them, once you have finished cooking. You should then leave it for two to three hours before checking that the barbecue has cooled completely, before placing it into your black wheelie bin.

Cllr Nigel Simons, cabinet member for waste, street scene and the environment at Peterborough City Council, said: “Our residents have a great record in recycling the right things and making use of the wide range of facilities at the Household Waste Recyling Centre.

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The Household Recycling Centre in Fengate
The Household Recycling Centre in Fengate

“Thankfully incidents of this nature are rare, but as summer is now upon us we would ask that all residents think before disposing of barbecue waste to keep everyone dealing with it safe.”

The recycling centre is operated by waste contractor FCC Environment on behalf of Peterborough City Council.

Adrian Clarke, FCC Environment’s head of municipal treatment, said: “Dealing with people’s waste can be hazardous, but as a business and as an industry we have gone to great lengths to make the sector as safe as it can be. So, we have very clear processes in place to spot incidents of this nature and we have clear protocols to deal with them.

“As soon as the fire on Saturday, June 19 was spotted, the fire service was alerted and we cleared the building to get everyone out safely.

“We took steps to contain the fire and worked with the emergency services to extinguish the fire thoroughly before resuming operations. In this case no one was injured and no major damage was done to our premises, but this could easily not have been the case.

“So, we are calling upon the public to please think before bringing in disposable barbecues or coals from reusable barbecues before they are thoroughly cooled.

“As a direct result of this fire the site was closed on Sunday for our staff and the fire service to deal with the incident. However, the site had to remain shut on Monday as the team arranged for the water to be removed, had the electrics checked and attempted to reset the site’s alarm system, which is in place to keep us and the public safe.”