BREAKING NEWS: Site operators reassure public as waste fire continues in Newhaven

NEWHAVEN RUBBISH  FIRE BY EDDIE MITCHELL
NEWHAVEN RUBBISH FIRE BY EDDIE MITCHELL

The site operators of a waste facility where a fire has been raging since Friday (December 5) have reassured the public and thanked staff and fire crews for dealing with the incident.

In a statement the site operators of Skip It containers said: “We recognise that people are concerned about this fire and the smoke affecting the local area.

“Our firm is very much part of the local community, with many of our staff living in the area and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the hard work they have put into dealing with this incident.

“We would like to reassure the public that the waste involved is compacted, baled household waste, due to be exported to Germany where it would have been burnt in an incinerator. This business is regulated and tests for chemicals are regularly carried out.

“No hazardous materials - such as tyres or asbestos - are involved.

“We are working with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency, Environmental Health and other organisations to resolve this situation as soon as possible.

“Public Health England have issued health advice which we recommend people follow.”

Four fire engines remain at the scene on North Quay Road, along with a high volume pump, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.

Excavators are being used to knock down stacks of rubbish, with firefighters dousing the waste with water. The operation will continue throughout this afternoon.

The smoke plume is being monitored and health advice for people living or working in the area remains the same.

A Public Health England spokesman said any smoke could be an irritant: “Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed. Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid outside areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.

“Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.

“Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111. Smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma.”