A recycling facility designed with our support on behalf the London Borough of Hounslow and its local authority trading company Recycle 360 has been shortlisted in the Health & Safety Initiative Category of the MRW 2018 National Recycling Awards for its fire safety measures.

The Southall Lane Depot has been designed to go above and beyond in terms of fire prevention, leading to an independent waste fire expert calling it “An example to the UK, if not all Europe.” Its innovative design makes fire prevention a key constituent of health and safety in the work place and aims to mitigate the wider environmental, personal, social and operational impacts of any fire at the facility.

The 30,000 tonnes per annum facility was commissioned to support the collection of source separated recyclables and food waste, as part of the transferal of domestic collection services to Recycle 360 in 2017. Designed against a policy background of new Environment Agency permitting requirements on the development of fire prevention plans, the facility does not only meet current requirements but is future proofed against potential regulatory updates.

This was achieved by including an extensive suite of fire safety features:

  • A comprehensive multi-sensor, multi-zone fire detection system with deluge, misting and sprinkler response systems tailored to each operational zone.
  • Both loose and baled material bays engineered to act as fire breaks and mitigate fire spread.
  • Operational fire controls such as maximum fill lines on bays, plant shut down procedures, a dedicated quarantine area, manual materials inspections and a permit to work scheme.
  • Storage of 2.6 million litres of fresh water on site for fire response, with four 165kW fire pumps able to exhaust the stored water in just 90 minutes.
  • Heavy duty automated floodgates, flood-door fire exits and an automated drain valve closure, enabling the facility to contain all fire water in the event of any emergency response, prior to removal by tanker for appropriate disposal.
  • A dedicated fire command centre with remote access to automated response systems, comprehensive internal CCTV cover and relevant engineering plans and guidance.

Alongside our design work, we developed full operational manuals and a detailed site operational management and monitoring plan for Recycle 360.

The MRW 2018 National Recycling Awards will be held at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Thursday 28th June, when the waste and resources industry will come together for a night of recognition and celebration of the sector’s achievements.