Cumberland County recycling facility 'total loss' after fire

Firefighters were called to landfill in Little Forks, N.S., shortly before 6 a.m., and found the building unstable and engulfed in heavy smoke.

Firefighters called to landfill in Little Forks shortly before 6 a.m., found building engulfed

The recycling facility was surrounded by baled material that had already been processed, including paper and plastic. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A recycling facility filled with plastic and paper in Cumberland County is on fire and has been declared "a total loss" as firefighters work to extinguish the flames.

Employees at the Cumberland Central Landfill in Little Forks, N.S., called for help shortly before 6 a.m. when they noticed smoke coming from the building.

No one was hurt but the fire destroyed the facility, the Town of Amherst said in an advisory. 

Staff first noticed the fire when they arrived for work Tuesday. Crews from several fire departments responded. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Stephen Rayworth, solid waste manager for Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority, said 18 people work in the recycling facility. 

"We're just trying to manage the current event and will put plans in place afterward," he said. 

He said the building was surrounded with flammable material — baled plastic, tin and paper products. 
No one was injured in the fire. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Capt. Kendall Spence of the Springhill Fire Department said the structure was too unstable to send firefighters inside and it contained plenty of paper and plastic products that were burning.

Several departments from the area responded, including firefighters from Point de Bute, N.B.

Around noon, flames were visible and firefighters had to shift their positions due to a change in the wind direction. 

"It's warm but everybody is working together to keep everybody safe," Spence said in an interview. 

He said he expected crews to remain on the scene for several hours. 

The town said the fire is not affecting garbage collection and the landfill is still accepting waste. 

With files from Paul Palmeter