Firefighters douse flames at Duluth recycling center



DULUTH — Following Thursday morning’s fire at the Recycling Center of Gwinnett, Executive Director Connie Wiggins is thankful for at least one thing — it wasn’t near as bad as last time.

A fire that burned inside the center for less than an hour, shutting down traffic along Satellite Boulevard about 9:30 a.m., paled in comparison to a blaze that leveled the building in June 2008.

An official with Gwinnett County Fire said the department responded Thursday, battling heavy smoke and flames that started near a conveyer belt where newspaper and magazines are recycled. No one was injured in the fire, and no structure damage was reported, according to Capt. Tommy Rutledge.

By 10:03 a.m. the fire was contained, he said, with damage only to some contents of the building.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, Rutledge said.

Wiggins, who has been director of the recycling program for several years, said she received a text message Thursday morning from a manager at the Duluth building.

Wiggins is the executive director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, the organization that oversees recycling operations.

“They let me know there was a fire going on here, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh,’” said Wiggins as she stood outside the smoking building.

She said she was glad it was “nowhere near as bad” as the previous incident in 2008.

According to the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful website, the center “burned to the ground in June of 2008.”

Just two hours after the Duluth fire was controlled, fire crews responded to an outdoor fire at a recycling plant at 384 Maltbie St. in Lawrenceville.

A large pile of cardboard caught fire at SP Recycling Corp. Firefighters using an aerial ladder brought that fire under control in about 40 minutes, Rutledge said.

“Employees at the business discovered the fire and tried to douse the flames with portable fire extinguishers, but were unsuccessful,” Rutledge said.

No injuries were reported. The exact cause is undetermined, Rutledge said.