For some weeks now activities to cap the ever growing and improbably large mound at Dunbar Landfill have been progressing, but not even their nearest neighbours at Viridor knew exactly what was going on. Least of all our community reps. Our intrepid investigator found out using only a phone camera and second hand 1980s East German binoculars. A cap was in progress, perhaps permanent this time. Questions were asked. Dissappointing then to learn that this is only a temporary operational cessation of waste processing, whilst they fix some local problems, like poor waste sorting facilities and a lack of recycling facilities. Strange that such a large operator would not have these in place.
At what point the public will receive detailed information from the company’s own investigations or from SEPA is moot. The latter are keeping tight lipped as a fine could be levied, if the accident was a result of a breach conditions of their permit (this is a non-technical explanation in case lawyers are reading this).
Lax practices in this industry are legion, just dip into any of the industry websites and newsletters. There are problems all the way up the chain. But clearly someone has concluded many months after the initial fire investigation that the risk of further fires was rather higher than anyone attending the meeting was led to believe. Yet waste continued to be processed for over a month or longer.
It is also a little surprising that HSE are not concerned, since 2 rather large and very expensive machines were lost in the fire, and presumably created a risk for the machine operators. Was this a RIDDOR incident? We’ll probably have to await the meeting set for the end of January.
Anyway a few weeks after questions were asked the PR company issued the following:
“Further to recent updates relating to operations at the Dunbar landfill site, we wanted to confirm that Valencia Waste Management Limited has taken the strategic decision to temporarily stop taking waste into the Dunbar landfill site.
Following the incident in the summer, Valencia has conducted a review and to minimise the risk of any further fires, the site will remain closed to residual waste until we have our enhanced sortation and recycling facility operational. We hope to have these activities operation before Christmas. We will continue to monitor the site in accordance with the obligations under the site’s permit. SEPA have been informed of this decision.
To ensure dust and odour are controlled at the site’s tipping area we will occasionally need to take cover material and soils into the site whilst it is temporarily closed. Any vehicle movements that are observed will relate to this activity.
We will also provide a more detailed up-date at the next Community Liaison Meeting at the end of January 2024.
Sent on behalf of the Valencia management team
Director, Camarco, an APCO Worldwide Company
London, WC2N 5RW
Mobile No: +44 7799 131 618
Switchboard: +44 (0)20 3757 4980
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