Rotterdam waste processing plant unusable for days after major fire
Waste processor AVR in Rotterdam expects that domestic waste incineration will not be able to restart for the time being following the fire that raged for two days at the waste processing plant: "Everything has been at a standstill since Thursday morning. We don't know yet when we will be able to restart the plant, but it will certainly take days. Possibly even longer," a company spokesperson told ANP.
On Thursday, a fire broke out around 7:30 a.m. in a part of the company that is vital to business operations. "You can think of it as the engine room of the company. We are now checking if it is safe to enter the affected buildings," the spokesman said. Only then, he said, will it be possible to get an accurate picture of the extent of the damage and estimate how long it will take to get the waste processing plant back into operation.
AVR processes waste from more than 2 million households in the Netherlands. The deliveries come from Rotterdam, Leiden, The Hague, Utrecht, and all of Zeeland, among other places. "At the moment, they can't dispose of anything at our site. Every municipality is looking at where they can dispose of it. It's a big puzzle with a lot of adjustments," AVR says.
AVR and the municipality of Rotterdam will discuss on Monday how the issue will be further addressed. In Rotterdam, wheelie bins containing residual waste will be collected soon, but underground waste containers are emptied less often, the municipality said on Saturday.
Utrecht announced that it will, in consultation with AVR, look for alternative locations for the disposal of residual waste, the only waste stream that it supplies to the Rotterdam company. Organic waste and plastic, for example, go to other waste processors.
In addition, the municipality of The Hague says it is in close contact with AVR about alternatives for processing The Hague's waste. "The AVR has asked us to limit the supply of residual waste," said a spokeswoman. "The municipality is looking at what the possibilities are."
Reporting by ANP