Atlantic Recycling Limited are a large recycling and waste management company based in Cardiff, Wales. They are part of the Dauson Environment Group.
Atlantic Recycling run a large materials recycling facility (MRF) and transfer station at their Eco Park facility. Along side this they operate a fleet of skip, hook and walking floor vehicles. Processing approximately 150,000 tons of waste per year in the 140 acre site.
The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) have issued guidance to all operators that store any amount of combustable waste. They must have an approved Fire Prevention Plan (FPP) that meets three key objectives.
1. To minimise the likelihood of a fire happening
2. Aims for a fire to be extinguished within 4 hours
3. Minimises the spread of fire within the site and to neighbouring sites
All waste sites must have procedures in place to detect a fire in its early stages to reduce the impact. The plans must illustrate that the site can control heat to prevent self-combustion., Key to this is the monitoring of “sub-surface temperatures with a probe or another device that can take representative readings from the centre of a pile. Temperatures on the surface of a pile are unlikely to represent that at the core”. Any companies that fail to do this breach their fire prevention plans and risk losing their site permits to operate.
Atlantic Recycling Limited has a responsibility to monitor the temperatures within its stockpiles as a condition of its Fire Prevention Plan (FPP). Phil Ridley the Business & Development Director said “Atlantic has a duty to monitor the temperature of its waste stockpiles as part of ts permit conditions and FPP. We looked at several options to achieve this but none were able to the effective and cost effective solution Freeland Scientific were able to provide us. We did initially also consider their Temperature Sensing Cables but after consulting and consideration decided that the Wireless Temperature Probes were the best solution for our site.”
“We wanted a temperature monitoring solution that was robust, simple to use to monitor the stock piles, cost effective and most importantly was a solution that provided the protection we required. In doing this we complied with our regulator NRW and the Fire Service’s requirements from us. We can record for compliance and analyse heating trends and stockpile behaviours which contribute greatly towards our stockpile management and the mitigation of fire risks.”
“Previously we had been relying on thermal imaging for our temperature monitoring but found
this was unable to penetrate into the core of the waste piles (and or bales). Now our Wireless
Temperature Probes are able to monitor temperature variations from the center of our waste
piles, therefore providing accurate reliable data s that we are quickly alerted to any temperature
fluctuations. Giving us the ability to act quickly to sudden changes in temperatures.”
Atlantic Recycling initially saw the Wireless probes and the Temperature Sensing Cables at the RWM
show. After talking to the team they asked us to send them some information on the system. Eric
Crouch the Technical Manager then came out to the site to discuss and assess if it was a suitable
product/solution for the site.
When asked about the system Phil said “We have now had the system for over 6 months and are
very happy with its performance, reliability and the back-up support provided by the Team at
Freeland Scientific. The Temperature Dashboard is installed on my office PC as well as being
displayed on a monitor in our Operations Room meaning that the temperature can be monitored
directly during the day by the site staff and out of hours by the Site Security Teams. On site
training has given the site staff added awareness and they can pin point any potential issues in
stockpiles and intervene accordingly”
Through Freeland Scientific’s research into stockpiles self heating to the point of combustion the
Wireless Temperature Probes were designed to provide customers with the most efficient way to
monitor waste stockpiles. The tiered alert system adds an additional security level to minimise a fire
breaking out. The early warning system initially sends alerts to site staff as the temperatures rise and
then if temperatures continue to rise alerting senior management.
The temperature data is displayed in an easy to read dashboard format – example illustrated data
below that shows rising temperatures in a traffic light system.
It records the temperatures for each bay/batch and can be instantly displayed when sites are
The Wireless Temperature Probes are an accurate, relibale cost effective solution for mandatury site
compliance. The proactive system enables companies to prevent a fire even occuring. No waste site
wants to have to close due to fire on site losing earnings in such a competitive industy.
Eric Crouch Technical Manager said “We were consious that once a fire starts it can be extremely
difficult to extinguish. An established fire can go on for days and spread unseen to other areas in
large piles. Once a fire breaks the surface it can even jump bays given the right circumstances.
There are so many variables to how a fire can start through self combustion the only way to learn
more is by monitoring and reasearch.”