Recycling plant fire being monitored

Smoke can be seen rising from the burning material at Keenan Recycling's New Deer plant.
Smoke can be seen rising from the burning material at Keenan Recycling's New Deer plant.

EXPERTS are continuing to monitor a fire smouldering for several weeks at an Aberdeenshire recycling plant.

The outbreak at the Keenan Recycling facility at New Deer is being monitored by the council’s environmental health team, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Grampian Fire and Rescue Service and NHS Grampian.

At a multi-agency meeting last Thursday it was decided to leave the burning material, a pile of woodchips, untouched at the moment.

Monitoring work carried out by SEPA, and assessed by NHS Grampian, has indicated there is no risk to public health from the smoke generated by the deep-seated fire. Analysis also revealed that the amount of smoke has reduced greatly.

Andrew Murray, environmental health officer, said: “A decision was reached that the best course of action at present was to leave the burning material untouched.

“Any efforts to try and extinguish the burning material would send the ash now covering the pile into the air, which could cause other environmental problems.

“The agencies involved believe that disturbing the burning material would create a greater risk to the public and the environment than leaving it to smoulder.”

Council officers will meet the company, SEPA, fire chiefs and health officials in two weeks’ time to review the situation.

Some residents said they were disappionted by the decision not to put the fire out.

One said smoke was continuing to drift into his house and he had contacted his doctor.