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Update on fire incident at car recycling centre in the West Midlands

On Saturday (16th October) at around 11:30 am a fire broke out at the Recycling Lives scrap metal site in Walsall, West Midlands; An urgent investigation has since been launched.


Update on fire incident at car recycling centre in the West Midlands f
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Ten firefighter crews were called to the site where a huge fire after emergency services received many 999 calls. Staff at the site spotted the fire and raised the alarm before on-site fire crews battled to contain the blaze. 75 cars that had been processed for recycling were involved in the blaze, and smoke caused delays on the nearby motorway, with traffic building near junction 10 of the M6.

In an article at letsrecycle, a West Midlands Fire Service spokesman said of the incident:

“On 16 October at 11.30 am we received multiple calls regarding a fire at a vehicle recycling centre in Tramway Close, Darlaston.

“At its height, we had 10 fire appliances in attendance, 1 hydraulic platform, high volume pumping unit, drone and a number of specialist officers. Further relief crews attended the scene- the last to leave at midday on 17 October.

“We worked closely with the Police, Ambulance Service, Environment Agency and the site owners. Local residents were asked to keep windows closed due to heavy smoke logging and to avoid the area.

“We made good progress in extinguishing the fire and protected surrounding businesses. This large fire involved approximately 150 cars. The cause is not known at this time” 

In a statement, Recycling Lives said:

‘On the morning of 16th October, at approximately 11.30 am, a fire was reported at Recycling Lives’ Darlaston car recycling centre.

The fire involved approximately 75 cars that had been depolluted for recycling.

Staff at the centre immediately spotted the incident and reported it to the West Midlands Fire Service. Once on-site, fire crews contained the fire within approximately 45 minutes and remained at the recycling centre to cool affected material.

No staff members at the site were harmed.

Gerry Marshall, CEO of Recycling Lives, said:

“We are incredibly grateful for the rapid response of the West Midlands Fire Service in quickly containing the fire and that no one was harmed.

“We are currently investigating the cause of the fire and will be liaising with the fire service on this matter.”

A clean-up operation was undertaken, and the site was fully operational within 24 hours.’


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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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