Jul 15th 2021 6:45 pm

Update: Statement Regarding Fire at ECUA Recycling Complex

Update: 8-19-21

The ECUA Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) sustained damage as a result of a fire that occurred on July 15, which required significant clean-up and repair work. The first few weeks following the fire were spent assessing the damage and investigating the source of the fire. While investigators were not able to make a final determination as to the cause of the fire, it is strongly suspected that batteries or a propane tank caught in the metals’ sorting equipment ignited, and fire erupted, in this area. This serves as a stark reminder that such combustible materials should not be placed in the recycling carts.

Once the assessment and investigation were completed, deep cleaning of the entire facility began to remove all smoke residue and fire-damaged equipment. This phase is largely complete, as is a complete inventory of damaged conveyor belts, rollers, bearings, and electrical conduit and wiring. Some of the electrical components were damaged by water in the firefighting effort. Replacements for these parts have been ordered, some have already been received, and they are being installed as they arrive. The one item that will have the longest lead time is the replacement magnet that provides the sorting capability in the metals’ sorting area. While we are waiting for its arrival, ECUA staff are evaluating the relocation of this sorting station and associated equipment to the front of the operation for a potentially more efficient process.

A specific re-opening date is not available at this time as we await replacement parts and equipment. However, ECUA maintenance crews and our contractors continue to work diligently to bring MRF operations back online as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we are still maintaining normal recycling collections (*please note that this only applies to ECUA sanitation customers) and continue to urge our customers to keep in the positive recycling habit.

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Update: 7-21-21
Our Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) sustained damage as a result of a fire that occurred on July 15 and we will require some time for clean-up and repair work. We are extremely grateful that no one was hurt and for the swift action of our MRF staff, as well as the Escambia County Fire and Rescue officials who responded.

ECUA maintenance crews and contractors are working diligently to repair the areas that were damaged by the fire to bring MRF operations back as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we are continuing normal recycling collections and urge our customers to keep in the positive recycling habit.

We will provide updates to the recovery process as progress is made and information becomes available.

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A fire occurred at the ECUA Materials Recycling Facility this afternoon at approximately 5:10 PM. ECUA’s first concern is for the safety and wellbeing of our employees. We are grateful and pleased to report that nobody was injured.

The fire appears to have been located in the chute of the metal sorting area. Initial indications point to the possibility of a propane tank or battery, mixed in with the metal recyclables, as the potential source of the fire. An investigation as to the cause of the fire is ongoing.

ECUA staff and fire authorities are now waiting for the smoke to clear to assess the damage. There is currently no impact to recycling collections for tomorrow and they remain on the normal schedule. Updates will be released as information becomes available.

We appreciate the quick and professional action on the part of Escambia County Fire Rescue and Public Safety officials who responded.

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