Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gilberdyke landfill site ordered to stop taking waste

Today the Environment Agency issued a notice to stop any more waste entering the Gilberdyke Landfill site; this as a result of the operator City Plant Ltd still not complying with its environmental permit. As from 13th February 2012, waste cannot be brought on to the site until the level of waste in the landfill has been reduced to those set out in the permit.

The operator will also have to demonstrate to the Environment Agency that there is sufficient capacity left in the site to start taking in waste, once the level has been reduced. They will then have three months to reduce the site to the agreed levels.

A decision has not yet been made about City Plant Ltd.’s application to increase the annual tonnage limits on the permit from 70,000 tons per annum to 200,000 tons.

The visual height of the landfill is the responsibility of East Riding of Yorkshire Council as the local planning authority, and just last week the Council has took the first step to enforce a height reduction on the site, by formally requesting from the tip operators a timescale for bringing the height to the permitted level. A response is required by 2nd February 2012. Unfortunately at around the same time City Plant Ltd submitted a scoping request to the Council to regularise the height of the tip at its present level, this serves to delay the process.

I have little sympathy for City Plant Ltd – they have put the local communities through the mincer with foul smells, dust, mud, litter and intolerable amounts of HGV movements. The Company has played the system, by cynically and deliberately tipping quantities of waste far in excess of allowed annual quantities and at heights above double what is permitted - then submitting a retrospective requests to the EA to increase the annual tonnage and a scoping request/planning application to the ERYC to increase the tip height. But as with most things – what goes around comes around.

Although this is not the end of the matter, the Environment Agency has demonstrated it has the teeth and is prepared to use them. It is now up to City Plant Ltd, they have to come up with a realistic and acceptable plan or they will tip no more after 13th February 2012.

Environment Agency regulatory officer Matthew Woollin said: “It’s important that we control the amount of waste at the site because we issue the permit based on a set figure to protect the environment. We understand the community’s concerns and we are working hard to resolve this issue.”

To get to this stage has taken a great deal of patient work by a number of people over what seems like an eternity, and I know that residents have complained that nothing had been happening, but today we see the result. Many thanks go to Newport Parish Council and Chairman Roy Hunt in particular, residents of both Newport and Gilberdyke who never gave up the fight, and the local EA officers who have made this important step possible.

City Plant Ltd has two months to appeal against the Environment Agency notice.


John in Gilberdyke said...

As you say Paul, City Plant and their masters have cynically played the system, and no doubt will try to continue to do so. Let it be quite clearly understood the residents will not accept any kind of fudged outcome to this story. No increase of height limits will be acceptable to the community which has been so thoroughly tormented by this waste tipping fiasco.
We still have no answers to the questions asked at various times along the way but I am gravely concerned that the geotechnic conditions are such that the original tip height approval for 8 metre height of inert material may not meet current standards and would not be approved by todays standards for ground condition supporting the weight of the pile, much less to support 18 metres height of waste.
Add to this the angle of the slopes, which appear from casual visual inspection to be classifiable as "steep" and the piling of an additional 10 metres of waste on the top of the old material may lead to the internal pressure causing the decomposing waste to burst out and create a "landslip". Have proper independant geotechnical engineers been consulted about this? I would definitely not accept the word of the tip operators or consultants in their employ about these matters.
It is admirable that the EA have finally shown their teeth but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating so we need to keep everyones eyes open to avoid the prohibition to falter under pressure.
Everyone needs to continue to complain about smells and watch out for waste traffic sneaking in. Let everyone use their cameras or mobile phones if they contain cameras and to log and report suspicious activity at every incidence.
I remind everyone the EA telephone number is 0800 80 70 60 from a landline or from a mobile 800 80 70 60

John in Gilberdyke said...

The water in the dyke separating the tip land from the green lane is black. This was reported to the environment agency last week. If it continues to be discoloured (which suggests leachate escape) the environment agency number 0800 807060 should be used.

Anonymous said...

The torrent of waste has increased in the run up to the deadline. I hope the police and traffic inspectors are going to be in hand on Tuesday morning. Every hgv trying to enter the site should be inspected in detail and weighed. Any transgression whatsoever should be hammered. The use of GV9s will stop most of the hauliers in their tracks.