According to environmental group, and UKWIN member, SWARD (Safety in Waste and Rubbish Disposal) three separate pieces of evidence now prove that hazardous waste dumped at Wingmoor Fram, Bishop’s Cleeve, cannot be contained within the site.
SWARD has released dramatic photographs showing clouds billowing out of the landfill, across Stoke Road and towards local homes and farm land.
An expert consulted by SWARD has produced a report showing that there is evidence that hazardous dust is leaving the site. is found outside of the site and along the local road.
UKWIN Steering Group member and environmental pollution expert Dr Andrew Tubb said:
The result of my investigations…show beyond reasonable doubt that APC [Air Pollution Control residue from waste incinerators] is found outside of the Wingmoor Farm Hazardous Waste Site. APC is an hazardous material and should not be allowed to escape into the environment.
SWARD’s finding have this week been further reinforced by publication of the long awaited analysis of dust monitoring outside the landfill. A newly published report for the Environment Agency shows that dust from hazardous air pollution control residues (APC) has been found on monitors up to 250 m from the landfill.
SWARD Trustee Barbara Farmer said:
SWARD is not in the slightest surprised by all this damning evidence which shows beyond doubt that hazardous dust is escaping from Wingmoor Farm. This has been denied for years by both Grundon and the Environment Agency. If this is what happens when the site is apparently operating normally, what would happen if there were an accident? No-one can predict the long term impact of this additional chemical burden on our communities.
The reports and photographic evidence vindicate public fears and underline the need for this hazardous waste site to be shut down now.
Air pollution control residues (APCs) are talcum powder fine ash resulting from cleaning of incinerator flue gasses to prevent dangerous particles escaping via the chimney into the environment. They contain lime, used to neutralise the high acidity, and carbon is used to adsorb the dioxins and heavy metals. APCs are categorised as hazardous waste.
Wingmoor Farm was featured on a map of World Hot Spots for Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs (a group of chemicals that are very toxic to people and the environment) due the vast quantities of dioxin laden ash dumped there, the very basic method used to stabilise it, the open nature of the disposal and the site’s proximity to major housing development.
There have been two releases of unwetted APC dust into the air due to mechanical failure at Wingmoor Farm, in 2004 and 2009. The photographs were taken by the SWARD Steering Group in March, after members of the public had contacted SWARD on a number of days regarding the clouds blowing out of the site and across the road.
This story has been covered in The Gloucestershire Echo. The article quotes County Councillor for Bishop’s Cleeve Ceri Jones saying: “the evidence was overwhelming.”
I remember meetings where Grundon were quite clear the dust does not escape from the site. Here is the stark evidence which proves otherwise.
A decision on Grundon’s application for 20 more years of operation at Wingmoor is due later this year.
Both reports are available on request from the UKWIN Coordinator