One man has died and another was injured in an explosion and fire at an electronic waste recycling centre in Perth, Scotland. According to a statement from Police Scotland, emergency services responding to a fire at the Shore Recycling site in the early hours of 28 February discovered the body of a 46-year-old man at the scene. A second man, aged 41, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. His condition is described as stable. Shore Recycling confirmed to BBC that both men were employees.
Police Scotland said that enquiries were ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what had happened and that a joint investigation was being carried with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SRFS). The fire service reported that it had responded with six fire appliances plus other specialist resources to reports of a large fire within an industrial recycling centre. "Crews tackled a fire involving approximately 200 tonnes of scrap material," said a spokesperson for the SFRS.
Calling for a full investigation in comments on Twitter, local MP Pete Wishart (SNP) noted that Tuesday's blaze was the third fire at the site in two years. The most recent was a "serious fire" in September last year. At the time, SFRS described the fire as "a significant incident" requiring a response with six appliances. Recent posts by Shore Recycling on its website indicate that the company was in the process of making safety and compliance improvements.
Shore advertises recycling services for refrigeration, end-of-life IT equipment, portable batteries and cable recovery as well as general waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The company also offers secure destruction services. In total, the company said that it had recycled over 18,000 tonnes of WEEE in 2020.
The business has been active in e-waste recycling for over 20 years, albeit under different owners. In 2008, Shore Recycling was sold to the waste management company Viridor, but it was repurchased when Viridor sold off its WEEE recycling operations in 2020. At that time, the Perth site had a staff of 70 employees.