Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre is likely to be closed until next Monday due to damage caused by a fire.
Last Friday morning, there was a fire at OJI Fire Solutions at the Maria Pl centre and the centre has been closed since then.
Initially, its deposit slots for newspaper, mixed paper and cardboard were closed, but on Saturday the centre was closed to all recycling drop-offs.
Whanganui District Council Waste Advisory Group chairman Rob Vinsen said the fire caused considerable damage to the wiring of the OJI building and two balers may have also been damaged.
“An inspection by an electrician and an engineer will be undertaken as soon as the building’s safety status is cleared by WorkSafe,” Vinsen said.
An investigation by Fire & Emergency New Zealand personnel found it likely started in the fibre drop-off of the building.
The cause has not yet been confirmed but it is likely it was a lithium battery.
OJI processes all fibre products (paper and cardboard) collected by the Resource Recovery Centre and is also contracted to bale all its plastics.
“While the restarting of fibre processing may take longer, the Resource Recovery Centre will be able to accept all other recyclables once repairs are completed on the baler and power is restored to the building,” Vinsen said.
The centre is likely to reopen on Monday, December 11.
“However, the intention is to reopen as soon as possible and an update will be provided to the public once an estimate of the repair time is known.”
Vinsen, who is also a trustee of the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre Trust, said the trust was appreciative of the public’s co-operation in not leaving recyclables at the centre while it was closed.
Finn Williams is a multimedia journalist for the Whanganui Chronicle. He joined the Chronicle in early 2022 and regularly covers stories about business, events and emergencies. He also enjoys writing opinion columns on whatever interests him.