Firefighters were called to a blaze in Chinderah on Ozone St overnight on March 8, 2021.
Firefighters were called to a blaze in Chinderah on Ozone St overnight on March 8, 2021.

North Coast tip fire ‘could have been a lot worse’

A recycling plant operator says a fire on Monday night at the plant in Chinderah was likely caused by recycling contamination.

Firefighters were called to Ozone St at 10.20pm on Monday night where large volumes of smoke were seen coming from the Polytrade Recycling building.

Regional Operations NSW/QLD's John Servos attended the scene and said on arrival he saw fire crews dousing the flames.

"The response was excellent as always," Mr Servos said.

He said the business had a number of protocols including using thermal cameras, sprinklers inside and out, biosecurity and mobile monitoring.

Firefighters were called to a blaze in Chinderah on Ozone St overnight on March 8, 2021.
Firefighters were called to a blaze in Chinderah on Ozone St overnight on March 8, 2021.

 

"We do extensive fire training, we were fully equipped with everything we needed," he said.

However despite all the protocols in place, Mr Servos said it was most likely recycling contamination was to blame for the blaze.

"It could have been a lot worse," he said.

"We don't know what people put in there sometimes - if we see something we take it out.

"But it could have been something small, it could be a chemical in a plastic bottle that's burst and ignited it."

Items found within the recycling can vary from dirty nappies to batteries and even flares wrapped in newspapers.

 

He said the fire showed how essential it was for people to ensure they were recycling properly.

"We're lucky we detect a lot," he said.

Mr Servos thanked the emergency services who attended the scene.

"They've done a tremendous job to avoid damaging neighbours and trees nearby," he said.

"It was a positive outcome, I was happy with our systems we had in place.

"Everything was great which avoiding anything escalating."



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