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Ashford: Viridor Waste Transfer Station in the Cobbs Wood Trading Estate will not reopen

By Georgia Woolf

A recycling plant which was gutted by fire will not reopen - sparking calls for a new commercial waste disposal centre to be built in Ashford.

The town has been left without a commercial rubbish site since a large fire broke out at the Viridor Waste Transfer Station on the Cobbs Wood Trading Estate in May.

Last month, Cllr Winston Michael described fly-tipping in Lenacre Street in Kennington as the worst in the town's history and says the area needs a new disposal centre to help curb the problem.

The fire at Viridor. Credit: Andy Clark (1920034)
The fire at Viridor. Credit: Andy Clark (1920034)

"It is going to be a huge disappointment to a lot of people that Viridor is not opening as it was convenient and reasonably priced," he said.

"We need a commercial waste site to enable people to dispose their waste at an affordable cost.

"I do believe that it is something we should be looking into, with all the developments taking place, we could see a rise in fly-tipping.

Fly-tipped waste in Lenacre Street
Fly-tipped waste in Lenacre Street

"We already have a residential site in Ashford, so what is the problem of providing a commercial one?"

In May, six fire engines and a bulk water carrier were sent to the Viridor site after the blaze broke out in the early hours.

An Ashford Borough Council (ABC) spokeswoman said: "Since the fire at the privately owned Viridor Waste Transfer Station, there has been no direct disposal facility for commercial waste.

The fire at Viridor. Credit: Andy Clark (1920009)
The fire at Viridor. Credit: Andy Clark (1920009)

"Viridor is not reopening, however residents and businesses still have the option to engage a commercial waste carrier for all items they want to dispose of.

"Anyone choosing to do this should ensure that the person collecting the waste is fully licensed and ask for a waste transfer note to provide evidence of this.

“Alternatively, residents can use the council’s bulky item collection service, which allows for the collection of up to eight bulky domestic waste items.”

A Viridor spokeswoman said its Ashford transfer station will remain closed for the "foreseeable future".

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