A study undertaken by Ryan Fogelman, vice president of business development for Southfield, Michigan-based Fire Rover, has uncovered more than 280 recycling or waste facility fires in the United States and Canada in a 12-month period spanning parts of 2016 and 2017. Fogelman says 41 percent of those fires occurred at waste facilities such as transfer stations, while another 27 percent occurred at scrap metal locations.
In an article posted to his LinkedIn page, Fogelman writes, “For the rolling 12 months from March 2016 until February 2017, U.S. and Canadian waste and recycling facilities have experienced 282 reported fires.” Fogelman says the data was compiled by searching news articles for the keywords fire, plus recycling, shredder, transfer station and other recycling- and waste-related terms.
Fogelman says the actual number is probably much higher, since numerous incidents may go unreported. “In the United Kingdom, the CFOA (Chief Fire Officers Association) reported 250 fires in 2015 at waste and recycling companies,” he writes. “The equivalent number in the U.S. would be well over 1,500 fires annually, based on an extrapolation of population.”
A breakdown of the reported fires by facility type depicted by Fogelman in an email shows the following percentages: waste facilities, 41 percent; scrap metal facilities, 27 percent; paper recycling plants, 9 percent; organics recycling facilities, 6 percent; rubber or tire recycling locations, 4 percent; C&D materials facilities, 4 percent; plastics recycling plants, 3 percent; electronic scrap facilities, 1 percent.
Fogelman also writes that he welcomes additional data on recycling-related fires in North America and that he can be contacted through his LinkedIn page.
In February 2017, Fire Rover and Miramar, Florida-based U.S. Shredder and Castings Group announced that U.S. Shredder is now marketing Fire Rover products and services to the scrap recycling industry in North America.