Two fires hit Shoreway Environmental Center


torbakhopper/CC BY-ND 2.0

Recology trucks are still performing daily duties even though the Rethink Waste center has undergone severe damage.

Sarah Tocatlian , Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, a fire swept through the San Carlos Shoreway Environmental Center. Just four days later, on Sunday, Sept. 11, a second fire hit the facility.

The first fire was reported at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. It started at the center’s residential street but was contained by the facility’s sprinkler system.

The Redwood City Fire Department tweeted at 11:18 p.m. that 79 firefighters were dispatched to help put out the fire. The crews remained at the recycling center until 1:40 a.m.

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still unknown.

The plant sustained extensive damage to its conveyance system, according to The San Mateo Daily Journal. The repairs could take from four to six months to be completed, said Joe La Mariana, the executive director of RethinkWaste.

“Whenever you drive past the center or take your trash out you don’t ever imagine that something so devastating could hit a place like Recology,” said junior Will Klieves.

The second fire was reported at 11:35 p.m. on Sunday.

According to The San Mateo Daily Journal, workers at the facility managed to move smoldering material outside onto the road where firefighters hosed it down. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Sunday’s fire caused no extensive damages. The focus of the recycling center remains on recovering from the smoke and water damage caused by the first fire.

“It is quite shocking to hear of two fires that occurred in the same place in the span of one week,” said sophomore Jordan Cheney.

Even with the damage sustained by the facility, the business’ operations will continue as usual, meaning that Recology will still be accepting garbage and other recyclable materials, according to The San Mateo Daily Journal.

“I’m glad to hear that no one was injured and that most of the equipment was not damaged. It’s good that they are continuing business operations and not letting this tragedy shut them down. I hope that the recovery goes quickly and smoothly,” said junior Grant Norman.