Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tip Operators Look To Heap More Misery On Gilberdyke & Newport Residents


At present City Plant Ltd, the owners and operators of the Gilberdyke Landfill Site have a licence that allows them to input about 70,000 tonnes of waste per annum into the tip. They have recently applied for a licence that, if approved, would almost triple this level to 200,000 tonnes.

I have serious concerns regarding the potential for over filling this site especially when it is clear the height limit has already been exceeded by a considerable amount. I would like to see this tip filled to the approved height and capacity, capped with clay, and appropriately landscaped as soon as possible.

I would therefore urge the Environment Agency to consider the following arguments for rejecting the application:

Currently, waste being deposited at the site is being tipped at heights that are above the limits allowed by both the Environment Agency (EA) and East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC).

It is widely felt that the environmental impact we have seen from moving the waste around the site has a significantly negative effect on the amenity of Newport due to the increase in gases escaping from the waste. I want, as soon as possible, for the site to move to a situation where waste is deposited, left in situ and capped at the correct height. To achieve this will involve waste being moved from its present location above the approved height down to a compliant level, and accept this will generate further smells in the short term. It seems to me that until the height limits are adhered to, it would make more sense to stop the input of further waste onto this site rather than allow an almost three-fold increase.

Whilst it is understood that the EA and ERYC are separate organisations, the EA are aware that the planning application made in March last year stated very clearly that the void, or remaining capacity of the site, was then 104,000 tonnes. From the vehicle counts carried out by residents and the average weight carried by the lorries, it is reasonable to estimate that between 60 and 70 vehicles per day (5 days per week) visit the site carrying an average of between 15 and 20 tonnes (this is a City Plant Ltd estimate). This would suggest that since April between 180,000 and 280,000 tonnes of material have been deposited already. Thus, either the site already has more material deposited than it can hold or the 104,000 tonne figure was inaccurate.

Given the doubt about the remaining capacity of the tip, surely any application to increase waste inputs can only be established after a thorough survey has been carried out to determine any remaining capacity. Again, the threat to the amenity of the villages of Gilberdyke and Newport if it transpires that thousands of tonnes of waste have, at a later date, to be removed from the site, must weigh against the application

I am confident that the EA and ERYC will work together, and this expectation is shared by residents, to ensure that neither organisations’ actions leads to a situation whereby an approval from one authority could negatively impact a condition imposed by the other. Whilst some might understand that the EA works to different rules, the general public is less understanding and would see as bizarre a situation occurring whereby the EA sanction higher levels of tipping on a site that may already be overfull from a planning perspective.

The EA is currently in a position where there are two breaches of permit notices outstanding and there are other problems that they are aware of. Unfortunately, the EA transferred the environmental permit to City Plant Ltd when the EA were aware that the site was in breach of permit. Having lost that opportunity to insist that the site be made compliant before transferring the licence, there is now a second opportunity to withhold approval of this application until the site is made compliant.

If it transpires that the current annual waste input level to the site has already been exceeded, surely all tipping should be stopped until such time as a new licence is issued – This would certainly focus the minds.

Should anyone also like to object to (or support) this application to increase the amount of waste that can be tipped on the site, letters of emails can be sent to the following:

Matthew Woollin
Environment Agency (Willerby)
1 Viking Close
Great Gutter Lane (East)
Willerby
Hull
HU10 6DE
e-mail: matthew.woollin@environment-agency.gov.uk

31 comments:

John in Gilberdyke said...

I have more than just concerns about this flagrant and deliberate contravention of the planning limits.
I have serious concerns about the effectiveness of the Environment Agency in this sordid saga, and I want to see the ERYC get their enforcement team into immediate action not trying to negotiate with a company that is running rings around them.
Time to stop hoping and get working!

Stig of the dump said...

So far the Environment agency have been little more than apologists for the tip operators. Very suspicious!

VERY CONCERNED said...

Take a look at line 17 on this http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Research/final_permit_decision_December_2011.xls
The Environment Agency have just issued City Plant Ltd with a permit for "WASTE INCINERATION; ANY SPECIFIED WASTE CHEMICALS (BROMINE..ZINC) INCINERATION OF NON HAZARDOUS WASTE <1T/HR" at Gilberdyke Landfill Site!!!

Anonymous said...

What does it take before East Riding Council do something about this? Apart from the lone voice of Paul Robinson, have they anyone at all with some interest in serving our electors?

Roy Hunt said...

John, your comment reflects the comments that Paul and I get most often. If your MOT or car insurance runs out and you drive, the police can take immediate enforcement action. If you miss the deadline on paying your income tax, HMRC can take immediate action. If your passport is out of date, you cannot travel abroad.

But, if you run a landfill site and exceed the height limit all you get is a notice, in this case over a year after the "offence" took place, asking you what you plan to do about it. If you exceed the allowed amount of waste you tip on the site, you are just left to carry on tipping.

As I have said before, there is no point blaming the tip operator. They know how lax the enforcement is and will take advantage, but meanwhile it is the local community who suffer.

At our last Newport Parish Council meeting residents were so incredulous about the lack of enforcement action some were openly assuming that there were dishonest practices taking place. I don't personally believe that this is the case, but when companies are allowed to break the rules so openly, for so long and with such impunity, this is a natural conclusion that ordinary members of the public wonder about.

Unfortunately this reflects very badly on the officers of the Environment Agency whose integrity is bought into doubt. They can only use the enforcement teeth they have been given. I personally believe that we need an inquiry into what has happened to understand what teeth the agency need for the future. We cannot allow such an obscene situation as we are witnessing to recur.

John in Gilberdyke said...

You apologise for the system all you like Roy. It stinks and we want action not platitudes. We need people out on the streets demanding this is stopped and taking direct action if nothing else is having any effect.

Roy Hunt said...

VERY CONCERNED.

The EA say that the report you refer to is in error - it should say that the licence to operate the landfill site was transferred to City Plant Ltd. Something we knew about.

Paul Robinson said...

@ VERY CONCERNED Thanks for the comment.

I raised this with the Environment Agency and apparently it was a coding error, they have since rectified this and it now reads: GILBERDYKE LANDFILL Gilberdyke Landfill Site, Leatherdog Lane BROUGH HU15 2QG, WASTE LANDFILLING; >10 T/D WITH CAPACITY >25,000T EXCLUDING INERT WASTE.

I certainly knew about the transfer of the permit to City Plant Ltd and refer to it in the blog post. But the sensitivity of this whole issue should have ensured that simple errors like this don’t happen.

Anonymous said...

What a sad & unjust state of affairs this whole situation is....the operators keep moving the goal posts and the officials are back in the changing room looking for their whistles...and yet, no-one is to blame!? Unfortunately, there seems to be no end to the 'game' because the operators will be able to apply to change that as well. To the residents...please don't give up -make that call, write that letter if we stop commenting/complaining to the officials it will be seen as acceptance. To the officials...look up from your departmental instructions and regulations and take a good look at the reality of this situation and how it is affecting residents' lives (24/7). Is there no-one with the authority and bravery to take it by the scruff of the neck and sort it out?

Anonymous said...

Considering the money the county council takes in council tax from us residents is it too much to expect them to look after our communities?

John in Gilberdyke said...

Good to see the issue is kept alive in the Goole Times today.
It really deserves to make it onto the National Dailies as well.

A G MACINNES said...

Paul

I have tried three times to e mail Matthew Woolin but each time they have failed.
Am I being cynical thinking this suspicious.

Gazza said...

Where are the Police? I know the waste tip maybe a civil action, but the transporting of the said waste by road transport is Police.
There are that many Lorries used to transport the waste, you can not help seeing and passing the said transport.
I have driven behind the lorries, both delivering the waste and the return to collect more.
Some of the loads have not been "sheeted down" thus allowing lighter waste to blow out. Unsafe loads are a Police responssibility.
The Police could pull in the lorries to check load and axel weight. (weigh bridge off the A63)

Paul Robinson said...

@A G MACINNES
The email address should be:

matthew.woollin@environment-agency.gov.uk

Sorry missed out the hyphen!

Anonymous said...

200,000 thousand tonnes! The Agency better not approve that!

Paul Ablett said...

I drove passed this today in the driving rain and the one thought I had was how easy it would be for this tip to move and create a landslide onto the motorway. Surely any planner in their right mind would have to see this possibility.

Pauline said...

if I broke the law as the tip operators are doing I would be either restrained, locked up or fined but all these companies have to do is hold talks..hello what is the matter with ERYC!!!!

Roy Hunt said...

Unfortunately, contravention of the planning consent and the environmental permit is not "breaking the law". If it were, things would be so much simpler. What everyone must do is add weight to what Paul and I are doing by writing the the EA and ERYC to voice your concern about the lack of enforcement action.

John in Gilberdyke said...

Methinks you tolerate too much Roy!

Bill Kane said...

Local organisations can now bid to take over services from the Council where they can offer a better or more cost effective service. Perhaps the Parish Council should bid to take over the enforcement role.

Bill Kane

Roy Hunt said...

John, it is not a matter of being tolerant but being aware of what is possible. There is absolutely no point in trying for the unachievable. Paul and I have received very good advice on what can be done to bring this matter to an end and this saves wasting everyones time and energy trying for the impossible. This matter is more complex that many people think.

Ex Tip Manager said...

Tips are built in cells and capped to prevent water penetration this is necessary as water and rubbish produces poisonous leachate, increases methane as well as instability. Does anyone know if this site is properly compartmentalised and sealed.

Roy Hunt said...

Ex Tip Manager you make an interesting point The stability of the tip is an issue - where the height is at 18 metres, the allowed capped height (profiled height) is more like 6 metres. Thus it is three times what the stability calculations assumed when the EA approved the profile and, as far as I can establish, nobody has looked into this.

Anonymous said...

As a Mill Lane resident, I am pleased at the amount of negative coverage the landfill site is getting in the local press. I read with interest the latest article in the Goole Times, and I have sent an email to EA's Matthew Woollin.

The smell from the tip has been quite unbearable recently, and I regularly report this to the EA. The amount of rubbish blowing across the fields and onto Mill Lane is increasing - yet no one seems to collect it down here (who is responsible for its collection?) There are now thousands and thousands of seagulls flying back and forth every day - leading me to believe that more and more household/food waste is being dumped there. Also, what are the hours of operation for the site, as I hear the lorries moving around the tip, bleeping, before 7.30 am? Although Mill Lane now has a sign 'not suitable for heavy goods vehicles' at the Wallingfen Way end of the lane (there isn't one at the Leatherdog Lane end), tipper trucks are still occasionally using Mill Lane as a short cut.

I have recently contacted Yorkshire Water, as over the last 3 months or so, when I have turned on my cold water tap, and even sometimes the shower, there is a strong smell coming through the pipes, the same smell from the tip, for just for a few seconds - but I have been worried that toxins could be seeping into our water supply.

Our quality of life in this area is greatly affected by this landfill site, something only those living close by could understand. Knowing when we could expect operations at the site to end would provide some comfort.

Thank you - and keep up the good work!

Kevin Clifford said...

There are many excellent points being raised. As a local resident who has put a fair amount of effort in myself regarding this site, I know that Paul and Roy have dedicated a tremendous amount of time on this matter. Roy particularly has been involved almost every single day, and rather than be criticised they should be applauded. Many of the issues are complex when you dig beneath the surface, but undoubtedly it cannot be denied that natural justice has been utterly failed by many of those who are responsible for the tip's regulation. I know for a fact that the Environment Agency take Court action against everyone caught without a fishing licence. Yet if you are a resourceful business, prepared to fight in the Courts, then the Agency appear to prefer the route of "persuasion" and "education". However, to be fair to the Agency this approach is pushed on them under guidance notes issued by DEFRA (essentially the Government).
Kevin Clifford

stig of the dump said...

Kevin remark about the ea taking court action against fishermen without a licence struck home in the 4th January east riding mail where 2 were fined for this heinous offence. Maybe the wrong ea department is involved with the tip?

John in Gilberdyke said...

Having raised the issue of this stinking mess at the last lat meeting, I was delighted to learn that the eryc enforcement process has at last begun.
Now we need to see a full stop to any more waste being transported into the site until the height is reduced to less than the 8metre limit.
It is hoped the environment agency work with eryc and make sure that they protect our environment instead of allowing the disgraceful conditions which have prevailed up to now.

Gazza said...

http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/politics/aberfan/desc.htm
Some may remember the Aberfan disaster. Tipping out of control.

John in Gilberdyke said...

Gazza raises an interesting point. The aberfan report is quite blunt in identifying failures of authority and notes the concerns of local people had been ignored. Now who in the ea and eryc was or is not listening to Newport and Gilberdyke residents?

Anonymous said...

Well, it would appear that the owners are following up their blatant disregard of the planning approval with an application to increase the height of the tip by about another six metres. What a surprise.

With this particular company I can see no point in ERYC approving any application at all because from their track record all that will happen is that they will be kicking the problem further down the road - give them another six metres and I can well see them taking another ten and then applying for yet another increase in height to regularise the site.

Enough is enough. Last June we were promised that once 104,000 tonnes of material had been deposited, the site would be capped and our nightmare would be over. Instead, we have this cynical request to effectively give approval for their past wrongdoing in building the tip as high as they have.

What is more, they are asking the Environment Agency to treble the annual tonnage they are allowed to tip, meaning a three-fold incrase in traffic volumes which are already causing great hardship to people living on Thimblehall Lane.

I very much hope that both the Environment Agency and ERYC apply common sense and natural justice and use their enforcement powers to stop further waste movements into this site so that it can be levelled off and only if there is spare capacity allow further tipping.

Anonymous said...

Googling landfill stability throws up some very worrying material. If the original design was based on a maximum of 8 metres height then its almost guaranteed that the foundation layer and side walls are satisfactory for the internal pressures created by more than doubling the actual height.
Can we be assured that the environment agency have carried out full design analysis and are willing to accept total responsibility for any failures which may occur? Similarly east riding council should be making independent enquiries with geotechnical engineers.