RESIDENTS have spoken out about the effects a recycling plant fire, which has been ongoing since Sunday, has had on their health.

Several householders have complained of nose bleeds, having black soot up their nose and not being able to breathe properly in their own homes.

A fire broke out on Sunday evening at Greenology Plastic Recycling Centre, at Liverton Mines, near Saltburn-by-the-Sea – three pumps from Redcar and Cleveland Fire Brigade from Loftus, Thornaby and Coulby Newham were still on site last night, damping down the fire.

The fire service said it is continually monitoring the incident.

Speaking on Wednesday, Kerry Walker, a resident in the village, said: “Yesterday it was horrendous. We had police around last night telling us not to go out.”

Danielle Harris and her partner and five children live in St Helen’s Walk near to the recycling centre.

“We’ve not been able to breath,” she said.

"It’s been really really bad. It’s been a clean-up operation today, washing all the curtains and bedding. I wiped down the tables and the cloth was black. It’s as though there’s been a fire in my own house.

“One of our local councillors had got offers from hotels to evacuate us and that were willing to take us but Public Health England had declined to action it because covid-19 was more important than to evacuate us. We could still social distance in the hotels because we would be in our own rooms.”

Public Health England advised residents to stay indoors and close windows, however they said it was up to the local authority whether residents could evacuate or not.

Danielle added: “My ten-month-old was struggling to breath I nearly had to call 999 - it’s not great for any of my children. My ten-year-old is still having nose bleeds. We’ve all had black soot in our nasal passages. My oldest son has suffered with two nose bleeds – really big blood clots. We can’t breathe it felt like being suffocated – we can’t go anywhere.

“I’m really annoyed that we’ve had no sort of apology from Greenology. All we’ve heard from them is that they’re going to rebuild. We have started a petition against this.”

Members of the community have now set up a petition to ‘Stop Greenology operating in Liverton’.

Paul Benson who started the petition has written on it: “We oppose continuation of Greenology using Liverton Mines as its base of operations. Due to previous health concerns raised by the residents regarding the increase of pests in the area, and the aftermath of the fire at Greenology, we want Greenology to immediately cease trading at Liverton Mines industrial estate.”

He has addressed the petition to MP Simon Clarke, Loftus Town Council and Redcar and Cleveland Council.

Nicola Maskell commented on the petition, saying: “The plant should of never been put there in the first place so close to housing, we’ve suffered with flies rats etc for long enough then for the fire! We have all breathed this toxic fumes in since Sunday night, we are putting our children’s healths at risk, all for them to say they are going to rebuild it, for the risk of this happening again! No thank you very much!”

Alison Cole said: “It’s a danger to the village with all the flies, vermin and plastic been stacked as high as they can possibly get it, Now our village is being poisoned by toxic smoke. Has no one from this company ever done a health and safety report and didn’t it ever come up about what would happen in the event of a fire.”

Director Laura Hepburn said: “Thank you to all the local people for their patience and understanding in the aftermath of Sunday night’s fire and our thoughts are with everyone who has been effected.

“The smoke was blowing in their direction for a day, luckily the wind changed and the fire is now under control. It's been a fine balance of weather, fire and water usage for the fire crews to deal with the situation.

“We do realise local people have been effected but unfortunately it has been a heart-breaking situation which has been completely out of our control.

“It’s fair to say we’re disappointed at some people’s reaction following the fire and we feel a petition against our business is unnecessary.

“The fire has really upset our staff who have worked so hard to send the stock, free of charge, to companies to keep their contracts going who are affected by the coronavirus.

“We must now work together to put the site back to normal as quickly as possible so everyone can get on with as much normality as possible in these hard times while we remain committed to paying a £1,000 reward for any information which leads to a conviction.

“Finally, thank you to The Stonehouse Bakery and the Waterwheel pub for bringing food to the amazing emergency services who have risked their lives and are having to deal with the aftermath of this complete mindless act.” 

Cllr Mary Lanigan, who represents the Loftus ward and is leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, explained the situation is continuing to be monitored and action had been taken following advice.

She said: “This is especially difficult for people in Liverton Mines at a time when families are already following government guidance to stay at home. I have every sympathy for people affected by the fire.

“Public Health England has advised residents to stay indoors and to keep windows and doors closed. To try and help, the council have delivered food parcels to the homes in the surrounding areas. I have been helping staff to package up the food. 

“We will continue to liaise with Public Health England, Cleveland Police and the fire brigade and will provide more support for residents where required.”

To sign the petition go to