A FIRE at a recycling centre has wrecked a £500,000 shredder machine, forcing the business to move out of its Bradford depot temporarily.

Quick-thinking workers at Hunters Waste Management in Spartan Road, Low Moor, managed to pull gas cylinders, a diesel tank and other highly flammable waste out of the large shed away from the flames, saving the blaze from spreading.

Boss Sam Hunter praised the actions of his workforce and of firefighters from stations across the city and from Leeds who prevented it from becoming a major incident.

Mr Hunter said a flame suppressant system fitted just weeks ago, costing £5,000, failed when the fire started in the machine, causing the expensive piece of shredding kit to be totally destroyed.

Thanks to workers and to firefighters, a £200,000 grabber machine survived, he said.


The incident happened at 11.20am yesterday.

The business on the former Yorwaste recycling site has been there for four months, recycling commercial waste from businesses including supermarket chain Tesco.

But it will have to temporarily move out to its other depot in Huddersfield.

Mr Hunter said: "It will just be for a while until we get this depot back on its feet again. We will be back and we will be bigger and better. Only last week we ordered another shredder machine so we could double our capacity."

Fire pumps attended from Odsal, Bradford, Idle, Shipley and an aerial appliance from Leeds. Crews had to wear breathing apparatus to get inside the shed structure because of potential toxic smoke.

Incident commander Paul Taylor, from Odsal Station, said: "We got good information from the workforce when we arrived as to what had happened and what was in the shed. They had removed gas cylinders and a diesel tank and other waste. Thanks to the actions of them and the firefighters at the scene it was prevented from being what could have been a potentially serious incident."

And he said: "We were told it started as a fault in one of the machines but it will be investigated thoroughly."

It took about 40 minutes for the crews to get the fire under control and they remained at the scene damping down until it was safe.

The Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water also had to be informed about the incident because water used from the two large jet reels to tackle the blaze had come into contact with waste and was running back into drains and a nearby beck.