Huge recycling plant fire in New Mexico puts residents’ health at risk

A massive blaze at a plastics recycling plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has prompted local officials to warn residents to stay indoors and away from toxic smoke.

Albuquerque Fire and Rescue posted this image of the recycling plant fire on Twitter.

The multi-alarm fire broke out on August 6th, and quickly engulfed a significant portion of the facility, according to local news sources. Video showed thick black smoke being blown away from the fire by strong winds.

On Twitter Albuquerque Fire and Rescue (AFR) said: “AFR and Bernalillo County working a multi-alarm, multi-jurisdictional fire. Structures, product and vehicles are involved. Fire is not under control.” AFR also warned residents to stay away.

According to the AFR’s Jason Fejer, a department spokesman, the facility is owned by United Poly Systems, a subsidiary of Atkore, that makes custom plastic pipe.

Lisa Winter, a spokeswoman for Atkore, said the fire broke out in the exterior yard of Atkore’s United Poly Systems facility. She said fire officials have been working to protect other parts of the facility.

“The health and safety of our employees and the local community are our primary concern,” she said in a statement. “We are currently assessing the situation, and are cooperating with the appropriate authorities including regarding determining the cause of the fire. We will communicate further information as it becomes available to Atkore.”