Sterecycle restarts operations

Autoclave firm is processing waste again at Rotherham plant where explosion killed a man

Waste firm Sterecycle restarted operations at its autoclave plant in Rotherham in April, three months after an explosion there killed a man. (ENDS Report, January 2011).

The apparent cause of the accident was “a sudden loss of pressure as a result of the failure of one of the [autoclaves]”, the company said at the time.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) subsequently served two prohibition notices on the site saying the autoclaves could not operate until recommendations had been complied with.

The notices said there was “a risk of serious personal injury” due to “the uncontrolled released of stored energy”.

The HSE would not say what its recommendations were, because its investigation into the incident is ongoing. However, Sterecycle is now treating waste in the autoclave that was not damaged in the explosion.

The waste is coming from Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham councils.

Sterecycle has achieved a high profile in the waste and financial sectors since opening the 100,000 tonne-per-year Rotherham plant in 2008.

It was expanding the plant at the time of the explosion (ENDS Report, March 2010).