10th April 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Crews called back to Gremista landfill fire

10 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

Fire crews were this morning called back to the landfill site at the Gremista waste management plant.

The brigade was first called yesterday to deal with a rubbish fire when staff at the plant noticed smoke coming from the tip when they turned up for work yesterday morning. Crews were on the scene most of yesterday to bring the fire under control.

But overnight the fire seems to have been fanned by the wind with smoke billowing over Gremista, the power station and beyond. The fire service were alerted again just before 6am.

This morning the service confirmed that four appliances were in attendance and crews wearing breath apparatus and using hose jets were trying to extinguish the fire.

Fire sometimes breaks out spontaneously in landfills as the pressure of rubbish raises the temperature to ignition point.


  1. Michael Garriock

    Let it burn, why waste resources on it. A few days and it would be mostly over, and kill two birds with one stone by reducing the volume dramatically so that it would hold more.

    The reek from it will do “the environment” no more harm than all the crap that leeches out of it in to the groundwater and ultimtely the sea, as it slowly decomposes.

    There’s something supremely ironic about struggling to preserve something from destruction by one method, when its already been abandoned to be intentionally destroyed by another method.

  2. John Irvine

    If it can burn why is it in a landfill and not used for the district heating scheme?

  3. iantinkler

    Let it burn!, then better not breath, vinyl chloride, benzene, ethylene dibromide, ethylene dichloride, methylene chloride, perchloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl chloroform), trichloroethylene, and chloroform, dioxins and cyanides. All gases associated with mixed landfill fires, plastics being the usual source of toxic gasses. Best just put it out and stay upwind when doing it!!!!!.

    • Michael Garriock

      What’s plastics doing in our landfill these days anyway Ian Tinkler? I thought we “sorted by type” our waste and had an incinerator to “safely” combust things like that, besides there’s apparently a whole lot more in there than plastics, namely organic material. If there wasn’t you couldn’t have the scenario of ignition from heat generated by compression and decomposition.

      Whatever gasses a “one off” short term burning may or may not generate, I don’t believe they’re in quantities or strengths that will do anyone measurable harm, especially given the distance of the site from “civilisation” and the current wind’s ability to disperse them.

      If the gasses were that lethal, Lerwick would have been a ghost town back in the days of the Lochside dump which smoked virtually continously, and those of us who have for years fed our Rayburns with anything and everything remotely combustible, plastics and all, would have been pushing up the daisies with them.

      The old Rova Head incinerator burned the same stuff and belched the fumes freely, and nobody ever accused it of killing anybody. I’m not saying letting it burn wouldn’t produce any toxic fumes, but lets have some proportion and perspective.

  4. Haydn Gear

    What an amazingly knowledgeable superman Ian Tinkler is !!!! How on earth would Shetland survive without his input? As I said in previous correspondence, he knows everything about everything. Einstein, da Vinci, Prof. Hawking et al, et al———–eat your hearts out!!

  5. ian tinkler

    Haydn, you are making the very my very point about scientific ignorance which abounds from those trained in the arts and the M Mouse school of ignorance. Anyone, with an iota of understanding of scientific issues, would know just how toxic landfill waste can be when burnt. That is why it is landfill waste and not used in the district heating schemes, simples.. Now try “google advanced search “and look up Toxicology and landfill, or toxicology waste products and dispel your ignorance, if you know how to. It is better perhaps for you, to stay quiet and appear ignorant than open your sarcastic mouth an dispel all doubt. It is easy to acquire and understand and science, such as basic toxicology, it is utterly stupid not to and remain ignorant.

  6. David Spence

    Haydn, I think you should take up Psychology as an additional source of knowledge. I am sure Ian, would make an ideal Guinea Pig for your studies and Thesis. Mind you Haydn, it could be a case of the patient teaching the doctor………..I guess you will have to lay onto the couch, Haydn? lol

  7. Haydn Gear

    Thank you for the suggestion David. I think I’ll dismiss the idea out of hand though. It’s much easier to shovel water uphill.Hold fast —- that man IT will probably know of a way to do that very thing!!!!!!!!!!

  8. iantinkler

    The pressure must be getting to me, managed to vote for the next Labour leader, now try for the D Spence for the Conservatives next. Whoop whoop. Funny old world.

  9. ian tinkler

    Haydn, it is called a pump. A bit deep for your BSc?. MSc?


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