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Eighty firefighters descend on Sydney garbage shed blaze

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An estimated 80 firefighters are battling a large fire at a garbage shed in Sydney’s south that went up in flames about 8am on Saturday morning.

Fire and Rescue NSW have dispatched 20 firetrucks to the site on Lindsay Street, in Rockdale, as thick black smoke billows over the city’s south.

A local evacuation is taking place for those who live or work near the Cleanaway Rockdale Resource Recovery Centre, the garbage shed that caught ablaze. Local roads surrounding the facility are closed and smoke is slowing traffic along West Botany Street.

Fire and Rescue NSW urged residents in the area to stay indoors and shut their doors and windows.

“There’s lots of smoke in the area. We are advising people to stay away and stay indoors,” said a spokesperson. “It’s not good to breathe in, obviously.”

Firefighters expect to be battling the blaze for the next four to six hours.

Local businesses close to the garbage shed, including a neighbouring Fitness First, have been shut down.

Thick black smoke billowing from the facility is visible from Sydney Airport, where tens of thousands of travellers are arriving early for their long-weekend departures after Friday’s queuing chaos and dire delays.

The airport is expecting 60,000 travellers on Saturday and Sunday. Travellers told Nine’s Today program that there was confusion on Saturday morning as passengers who checked in their bags were directed to exit the airport building and enter the security line through a different door.

“I don’t know where we’re going, you’ve got to go outside and the line is so long,” one traveller said. “It’s chaotic. It’s crazy.”

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