Live hand grenade found at Essex recycling centre

RESIDENTS in Essex may be recycling more than ever but one took it a little far this weekend – when a live hand grenade was found at a recycling centre.

The shocking discovery was made by a member of staff in a waste metal container at the recycling centre on Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, at around midday on Sunday (June 23).

Staff called the police and evacuated the centre immediately, directing residents to other nearby centres. A bomb disposal unit removed the grenade from the site, and destroyed it via a controlled detonation.

The centre was re-opened to the public at around 2.20pm that afternoon, and is open as usual today (Monday).

County councillor Roger Walters, cabinet member for Waste & Recycling said: “We encourage residents to recycle as much as they can, however is appears someone was bit too keen on this occasion!

“There are lots of different items you can bring to our recycling centres, but if you are ever unsure please check with us before setting out. I would like to thank staff at the Basildon centre for their speedy and effective response to this situation.”

It is not the first time a grenade has been found at an Essex County Council recycling centre. A similar discovery was made at the Shrub End, Colchester centre in 2008, while more recently items including ammunition, firearms, distress flares and mortar shells have all been taken to recycling centres.

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Even when such items have been deactivated or are imitations or toys they can still lead to centres being closed whilst the police confirm they are safe, the county council said.

The authority has reminded residents they should always check before taking any unusual or potentially hazardous items to any recycling centre. Visit or call 0845 603 7625 for more information.