- A fire that began on Dec. 28 and continued for multiple days has essentially destroyed a recycling facility operated by Republic Services in Plano, TX, as reported by Dallas News.
- The facility handled material from Plano as well as the city of Richardson. Recyclables from both cities will now be sent to a landfill for at least a few weeks until a new option is found.
- According to an announcement from the city of Plano, local company Texas Pure Products has stepped up to accept clean cardboard. The city of Richardson told residents that they could store their recyclables until collection resumes or place them out with standard refuse.
The fire reportedly began after a truck tipped its load at the facility, but no specific cause has been announced yet. Numerous bales of sorted material fueled the flames and generated smoke that kept firefighters on the scene for multiple days. Republic Services is continuing to look for a viable alternative location to send material in the area.
As seen recently in Maryland, it's not uncommon for facility fires to temporarily disrupt service. It's less common for the facilities to be damaged to the point that they may not be able to reopen for an unknown length of time. Until a new plan is developed this means that nearly 30,000 accounts will lose recycling access in Richardson and Plano will be wasting about 90 tons of recyclables per day.
This is the latest in a series of waste-related fires that occur so frequently, some have estimated there may be more than a thousand per year in North America. Causes can include customers improperly sending hazardous items to facilities, operators not maintaining safe conditions or following regulatory requirements or piles of waste spontaneously overheating.