Arson causes 'heartbreaking' damage
AN arson attack on a recycling business next to the Bristol and Bath Railway Path has caused “heartbreaking” damage.
The blaze at Toucan Environmental, on the Bridge Road Industrial Estate between Soundwell and Mangotsfield, sent a huge column of smoke into the sky and was tacked by firefighters from five different fire stations.
It wrecked hundreds of containers on the site, which specialises in reconditioning integrated bulk containers and plastic drums so they can be reused.
Toucan Environmental managing director Alex Duck said the yard was slowly returning to some sense of normality after more than three weeks of cleaning up following the fire on February 24.
He said: “It’s been an horrific process, dealing with twisted metal cages fused together by heat as well as melted HDPE plastic that has set and coated the floor.
“One of my biggest upsets is that the plastic burnt in the fire can no longer be recycled and will instead go to landfill.
“Toucan Environmental has been laundering spent, empty industrial packaging for 13 years and is passionate about reducing plastic waste.
“The amount that will now go to landfill following the arson attack is heartbreaking.”
Alex said the business had lost “vast amounts” of stock, plant and machinery as well as the shelters staff work under.
He said: “The chaps I employ have endured the cold, wet and windy weather, working without cover to ensure we continue to meet our customer demands – which are heavy at present with Brexit stock-piling.
“Fortunately my business is strong and with the understanding of customers, plus huge assistance from family and friends, was able to bounce back rapidly.”
The company’s CCTV captured “every second” that the culprits were at the yard, including some vandalism of vehicles, and has been handed to the police.
Alex said: “I would like to offer my absolute gratitude to the fire services who, without doubt, saved my business. Also, thanks to the police who have been so very thorough.”
An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said officers had eliminated two teenage boys from their enquiries, interviewed a third teenage boy and are due to speak with a fourth.
The force said enquiries continued and asked anyone with information which could help to call 101 or contact the force online, quoting crime reference number 5219 041 210.