The Reykjavík Public Health Authority has temporarily halted the operations of the recycling company Hringrás in Reykjavík, after a fire erupted there on Tuesday night, according to RÚV. The company was found to store too much material on its premises, thus, violating requirements for a permit to operate.
Tuesday night’s fire was the company’s seventh in 20 years, RÚV reports. Two of those were major fires in shredded car tires, one of which required the evacuation of 600 residents when 2,000 tons of shredded tires and rubber caught fire.
The company is located near Sundahöfn harbor in Reykjavík, close to a residential area. Tuesday night’s fire was a minor one, and arson is suspected. Yesterday, the fire department and the Health Authority inspected conditions at the company and concluded that regulations were being violated by storing more than the allowed amount of scrap metal and other material on the premises.
Action was, therefore, taken this morning, according to Árný Sigurðardóttir, CEO of the Health Authority. “We have informed the company that it is not allowed to receive any more material under the current circumstances,” she stated.
“We regard this as a very serious matter,” she added, “not least in light of the fact that this is near residents and other companies, and this permit to operate is intended to try to keep certain materials within some reasonable limits, in cooperation with fire fighters.”
Árný agreed with remarks made by the Reykjavík Fire Chief Jón Viðar Matthíasson yesterday, who said the location was very undesirable.
Jón Viðar told RÚV the fire department had always made it clear that such a company should not be in a populated area. The company receives both scrap metal and hazardous waste intended for recycling. Tuesday night’s fire erupted in a heap of scrap metal.
Hringrás’ permit to operate in the area is good until 2020, and company officials stated they have no plans to move in the near future.