Thursday, May 26, 2011

Meeting with Gilberdyke Tip Operators

I was recently given the task of chairing a meeting facilitated by the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team (LAT) between representatives from the new owners of the Gilberdyke Landfill Site site Mr Kevin Wanlass and Mr Sam Juggins, Matthew Wollin from the Environment Agency, Newport residents and representatives of both Gilberdyke and Newport Parish Councils.

Although the meeting went quite well, everyone was civil to each other, and many questions were answered, but I certainly felt that a number of unanswered questions remain and there are series issues that need to be addressed. I was reassured that the Environment Agency who monitor the site has visited the site each week in the past six weeks, but what was clear from the beginning is there had been almost no communication from the tip’s new owners and the community, and for me this had led to the tensions. I hope the putting forward of views and the answers given will in some way reduce these tensions.

I am still at a loss as to why a company applying to extend the life of a tip would put the residents through so much suffering in the lead up to the application being heard. It was not made clear as to why we had seen the vast increase in HGV movements to and from the site, and why many of the HGV movements appear to be by trucks originating in the North East of the Country.

From the information given by the representatives from the tip it would appear that the original owners have made the application to extend the life of the tip, this being ‘City Plant’ which operated as a sole trader. A recent change has taken place with the operators now being a limited company trading as ‘City Plant Limited’ which corresponded with a cash injection into the business. However, the identity of the directors of this new company was withheld. What is clear is that Mr Kevin Wanlass confirmed that he is employed by North East based waste company Niramax and is acting as a consultant to the new operators of the site.

Gilberdyke Parish Councillor John Jessop adds, “It was confirmed that the injection of new finance with the aim of utilising all the available space left in the site, will result in a very significant number of lorry movements over and above those estimated in the City Plant planning application to extend the life of the tip”.

“Complaints from residents about the offensive stench were virtually ignored and claims by the company and the Environment Agency that any smells were ‘Agricultural in source’ were made. Unfortunately many of the group of residents were of farming stock and the claim completely rejected. The stench (the company describe it as an odour) had become particularly bad over recent weeks, an explanation was offered but there was a degree of scepticism from the residents and Parish Councillors.

Concerns were also raised regarding the discharge of foul, black liquid into the dyke alongside the tip, this was denied and at one point the EA officer tried to suggest that the resulting elevated level of liquid in the dyke was due to the tide – The dyke is not tidal, it has tidal doors at the River Ouse end and the River Foulness at the other end is not tidal! Photographic evidence of pollution of the dyke as far as Gilberdyke Medical Centre was produced. Unfortunately no answer could be given that was acceptable to the residents and Parish Councillors.

A promise was given that the life of the tip would not be extended again if this extension were to be granted - can we really believe this or to paraphrase Mandy Rice Davies of Profumo case fame many years ago "Well they would say that wouldn't they?"


Anonymous said...

The Environment Agency need to be pressed into installing continuous sampling equipment at both ends of the section of dyke where the tip is. The monitoring guy is only on site for very limited hours and as soon as he leaves there is no-one to keep a check of what goes on or if leakage into the dyke occurs.
Permitted levels of COD and BOD are very low with legislative provision for penalties. These penalties need applying!

Sickened by the stink said...

Despite the promises last week Monday midday saw the tip leaking windborne litter over the new fence. The stink at the other side of the M62 was something fierce. Rotten eggs and then some - pig slurry would have been sweet by comparison.

Roy Hunt said...

OK, the questions raised by residents didn't get straight answers, but it was possible to deduce that new owners have been introduced who have injected money to enable the tip to be run on a more commercial basis than before. This means importing waste from further afield, so it is not surprising that the lorry movements have increased considerably.

What surprised me was that during the meeting I assumed that the one gentleman who came up with the most "ingenious" reasons as to why the residents had got it wrong worked for the tip operator. In fact he was the Inspector from the Environment agency. So, why did he appear to me at least to be supporting the views of the tip operators against the villagers. I would have expected him to take a more neutral and factual stance in the meeting.

Anonymous said...

No no Roy you don't understand. It's simple, the tip is "managed" by the EA so if you say the tip is not being run correctly then you are saying the EA is not doing its job properly. Therefore you are the enemy of the EA....

Anonymous said...

The EA "should" look after the environment (clue in their name). In this case the assumed objective seems to have been forgotten by the individual who is tasked with the job. The ERYC public protection department could do well to get heavily involved and challenge the way the EA are letting the community down.

John Jessop said...

In connection with the anonymous comment above about ERYC public protection. I would ask that you Paul formally raise this with the department as it is all very well anonymous saying something here but to start any council department ball rolling requires a hard kick in my experience (and follow ups in many cases as councils seem to have an uncanny knack of officers being diverted onto other projects along the way)

Anonymous said...

Black stinking liquid was seen in the dyke running from the tip to behind the Gilberdyke medical centre yesterday. Can we be sure that the operator is not pumping this stuff into the dyke as soon as the EA man is out of sight? It must save a fortune on effluent disposal costs if this is what is happening.

ecowarrior said...

If we take samples from the dyke both at the medical centre and adjacent to the tip are there any readers of this blog with chemistry analysis skills who can tell us what the chemical constituents are and what the BOD and COD figures are? For those who are unfamiliar with these terms they mean Biological Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand. These figures are important as they rate the damage to living organisms which the pollution causes.

Anonymous said...

The planning meeting is approaching. If by some ridiculous chain of events or exploitation of loopholes the extension of life is allowed it must be with detailed and closely monitored conditions to stop the waste company running roughshod over the residents. ERYC planners must get a grip of this.

1. No operations or HGV traffic to approach within five miles of the tip outside of permitted working hours.
2. No operations before 07.30 Monday to Friday
3. No operations after 17.00 Monday to Friday
4. No operations at weekends or public holidays
5. No litter or effluent to be allowed to escape from the site - this may mean shutting down in high winds!
6. The company to meet the costs of random effluent testing of the dyke waters by the ERYC public protection department.
7. Onlly inert waste to be permitted, nothing with inorganic content (noxious) allowed

Anyone else wish to add to this list?

mc said...

I'd like to add:
"Operators to cover all rubbish up by the end of each day and to take all measures necessary to prevent odour and vermin".

11 June 2011. Funnily enough, the state of the tip has improved over the last couple of days. Anyone would think that there is about to be a council planning committee meeting! Do they think we're naive? More importantly, will the council planners fall for this?

Anonymous said...

So the planners backed off and left the local inhabitants with a continuing nuisance. Why do we bother having a planning control system at all when they are so consistent in letting the communities down?

Anonymous said...

Somewhere along the way there was a fundamental change in thinking. From a council employee/officer being there to provide a service to the public of the area the ethos seems to have become the council exists to provide jobs to the officers. Having to provide the expected level of service might be appropriate when it suits but is no longer the raison de etre for the job held.
Just wait until the next revolution!