UPDATE: Residents are being told to keep putting their bins out as normal, despite a major fire in Hume that has gutted the ACT Government’s Materials Recovery Facility.
Recycling materials will be temporarily stored in a location at the Mugga Lane landfill while alternative arrangements to manage residential recycling are put in place. In the short to medium term this may involve transporting recyclables to alternative places for processing.
A local road closure is in place at John Cory Road, Hume.
The Monaro Highway and Mugga Lane remain open at this time but people are being asked to avoid the area.
Smoke is likely to be visible across the south Canberra area, including Jerrabomberra, Queanbeyan, Tralee and sounding NSW. People are being warned to keep their windows closed and stay indoors if they or their children are affected by smoke.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said it appeared the Hume facility, together with its discovery hub education centre, was a totally write-off.
“The destruction of this facility is a significant setback for recycling in the ACT but also for six councils in NSW which send their material here to be processed,” he said.
9 am: A structure fire in Hume could burn for several days after gutting a major ACT recycling facility.
The fire started in the ACT Government’s Materials Recovery Facility, at the intersection of John Cory Road and Recycling Road, late on Monday night (26 December).
At the height of the blaze, 18 ACT Fire and Rescue trucks were fighting the fire, backed up by paramedics and police.
It’s believed highly condensed recyclables like plastic, glass and cardboard inside the warehouse fueled the flames.
The building, which covers an area of 100 metres by 30 metres, was fully engulfed but firefighters managed to contain the fire.
It is now under control but expected to burn for several days to come.
The Materials Recovery Facility is a key part of Canberra’s recycling system, and City Services Senior Director Katherine Harrington is expected to address the media this morning about what impact the fire will have on waste management in the territory.
The Hume Materials Recovery Facility is one of the largest in Australia and processes about 60,000 tonnes per year of commingled recycling received from the ACT and several NSW local councils.