Explosion rocks Sun Services recycling facility

Sun Services’ C&D recycling facility in Beltsville, Maryland, was rocked by an explosion on the morning of Feb. 5 after a gas tank was accidentally fed into the recycler’s shredder. The gas tank was concealed among other construction and demolition materials, WTOP News reports.

Sun Services, which specializes in commercial disposal, residential demolition recycling, and construction dumpster rental, has been in operation since 2004. It built its new C&D recycling facility in October 2013.

As the company told Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine in a 2018 profile, Sun Services designed the 28,000-square-foot plant on five acres to house all material loading and processing under one roof to comply with local ordinances.

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Battalion Chief Daniel Frost told reporters that a medium-sized pressurized gas tank was in with the recycling material fed into the sorting system, which was unknown to workers. Once introduced to the shredder, the tank exploded, setting off a blast that ripped through the building and shook neighboring facilities.

“It sounded like a bomb had gone off, and inside of our building everything was knocked off … phones were off the hook, pictures were off the walls. … All you could see was smoke everywhere,” Tina Funkhouser of N&S Towing, which is across the street from Sun Services, told WTOP News.

According to a report, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS teams were called to the scene after the explosion was reported.

Once at the scene, fire and EMS crews encountered smoke billowing from the facility and a fire. According to the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Twitter account, “While on scene, there was another explosion which preliminarily appears to have come from a recycling unit.”

Fire crews extinguished the fire roughly one hour after the initial blast. No injuries were reported.