A RECYCLING centre in Taunton has been left ‘structurally unsafe’ after a major fire which was fought by 60 fire crew from across the West Somerset, Wellington, and wider Somerset area, and also from Devon.

The blaze, which broke out at about 3.15 am on Tuesday (October 3), is expected to continue burning for another couple of days

The recycling facility is part of Somerset Council’s household waste recycling centre (HWRC) on the Crown industrial estate, in Priorswood, and is managed by Biffa.

The council said the fire was contained to the site’s material recovery facility, where recycling was sorted for sending out to be reprocessed, which was not accessed by the public.

But because of its proximity to the HMRC it was not safe to provide public access so the centre would remain closed ‘until further notice’.

The cause of the blaze was still unknown, but it was confirmed that nobody had been hurt in the incident.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service firefighters continued to be in attendance tonight and advised residents in smoke-affected areas to keep windows and doors closed.

The council said people should hold on to their recycling if they could and not go to come to site, or they could put it through their kerbside collections if it was the right material, or they could visit one of the other HMRC sites, details of which can be found here.

The Poole recycling site in Wellington will be open for the rest of the week, as will Bridgwater, which usually closes on a Wednesday.

If Taunton still remains closed next Monday and Tuesday (October 9 and 10), then the Poole site will open as an alternative.

Somerset executive Cllr Dixie Darch said: “We send our thanks to the crews from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue who promptly responded to the situation.

“We continue to work with Biffa to ensure that we can provide a household waste recycling service, including additional opening days at nearby recycling sites.”

A Biffa spokesperson said: “We would like to thank the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service who are currently on site at our Taunton Recycling Centre attending to a fire.

“A full investigation will commence into the cause of the fire and it would therefore not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”