West Houston recycling facility on fire

Stacks of bundled paper, cardboard and other recycling materials burned at a west Houston recycling facility
May 7, 2013 4:09:07 PM PDT
Emergency workers have been kept busy tackling a huge fire at a recycling facility in west Houston.

The fire broke out at about 4pm at a large Waste Management recycling facility located at 1200 Brittmore Drive. Plenty of bunded cardboard, paper and plastics is visible stacked in large heaps.

Firefighters say the initial call was for a trash fire, and when they arrived, the smoke and flames were already going very high. The assistant chief says they were concerned the fire would spread to a large barn, but fortunately they were able to stop that from happening.

They tell me the big challenge now is accessing a lot of the burning debris. They say they are working to get some heavy equipment in to tackle that.

Firefighters tell me because of the trash and how it's piled, they have to work very carefully, being slow and deliberate. They expect to be on the scene for quite a while, separating piles of recyclable materials from the smoldering remnants, hoping to avoid any flare ups.

A spokeswoman from Waste Management told me the company just acquired this plant from Greenstar earlier this year, and due to ongoing maintenance and repairs, the facility hasn't been operational.

There's no word what started the fire, but a Waste Management spokesperson confirms the facility's system was not running at the time the fire broke out. No injuries have been reported.

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