The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) has urged its members, and other interested parties, to respond to the Environment Agency’s consultation on Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) guidance before the closing date this Friday (4 March).
The trade body says the guidance has caused concerns among wood – and other –recyclers who fear that if it goes ahead as proposed it could have devastating effects on the industry.
Andy Hill, Chair of the WRA, said: “The WRA is committed to safety, professionalism and protecting the environment and we agree fundamentally that operators should have Fire Prevention Plans in place.
“Many of our members have already invested heavily to improve fire detection and prevention and other health and safety measures on their sites. We are the first waste stream to hold fire tests to help inform this process and we have helped and encouraged that process and are now awaiting the results.
“We are concerned that both the EA’s FPP guidance and the consultation were issued prior to the results of any fire tests being known, when those results will undoubtedly help to determine some of the answers to these questions.
“We are urging all our members and others in the industry to respond to the consultation before Friday to make sure their voice is heard.”
The WRA represents 80% of wood recyclers in the UK. Its key issues include a 3-4 hour “proposed burn time”, which it says has no scientific backing. It believes this is an “unreasonable and unnecessary” target because it does not take into account individual circumstances such as tonnages, material types, weather conditions and the local fire-fighting strategy.
It also says there is no scientific evidence to support the rotation of waste wood stock on a 3-6 month basis. It says no consideration has been given to the seasonality of the waste wood market place, which by its nature peaks with stock in the summer due to over supply, followed by a peak in demand during the winter months due to off-take from biomass, panel board and animal bedding. This is industry-wide and is how the market has always operated.