Anger as Rotherham Council waste taken to Droppingwell tip

Anger as Rotherham Council waste taken to Droppingwell tip

By Gareth Dennison | 29/03/2021

Anger as Rotherham Council waste taken to Droppingwell tip

WASTE from a Rotherham Council house-building site was sent to Droppingwell tip — despite the authority publicly claiming its opposition to the landfill site.

A promise was made by councillors in 2017 to never use the dump, which is being prepared for reopening by Grange Landfill after nearly three decades.

 

 

But waste cleared from the RMBC’s Westgate site, where 54 homes are being built was taken to the Kimberworth tip, which was closed and left to nature after a 1990s public inquiry.

Steve McKenna, chairman of Droppingwell Action Group, said: “It was stated at a full council meeting in 2017 that no Rotherham waste would be deposited at Droppingwell tip.

“In fact, they are now facilitating Grange Landfill by contracting them to deposit waste from a council-owned construction site.”

The Environment Agency granted a permit variation in March 2016 allowing Grange Landfill to dump 205,000 tonnes a year at Droppingwell.

This was done without consulting the public or RMBC, which says it would cost £20 million compensation to pull the 1958 planning permission.

One resident said: “Suspicion grew as to why the trucks were coming from all directions to the tip, so some locals with dash-cams and cameras followed the lorries as they left the tip.

“They watched it get loaded and drive straight back to the tip where it was off loaded and instantly machined with the digger on-site, completely untested or unchecked.

“This is another fear as the company have been given self-regulation on what they tip so they could be dumping all sorts with no regulator.

“So the council, who are apparently opposed to the tip, are using the company to get rid of their waste, again making a conflict of interest in the process.”

Tom Smith, RMBC assistant director for community safety and streetscene, said: “I immediately contacted my counterpart in housing and pointed out the council resolution from 2017.

“This isn’t the council contracting directly, this is through a third party. We wouldn’t ever specify in a contract that waste could not be tipped in a certain location.

“Housing are now fully aware of the situation and have given me assurances that they have insisted no waste is now taken from any council site to Droppingwell tip.”

Mr Smith said there was an active investigation into “lots of issues” relating to the movement of waste — and encouraged anyone with photos of video footage to contact RMBC.

An RMBC spokeswoman added: “The council is aware that a limited amount of inert waste has been disposed of at the Droppingwell site by a contractor working on a council development.

“Whilst the tip operator has not breached its environmental permit, it is contrary to the council’s position on Droppingwell for our contractors to use the site.

“Given the concerns expressed by residents we are looking at what more can be done to ensure that only vehicles making legitimate use of the site within the terms of the Environmental Permit can dispose of waste at the current time."

Cllr Emma Hoddinott, cabinet member for waste, said: “I’m as infuriated as I imagine a lot of people are about what has happened.

“It was a contractor, but even still, we expect contractors to uphold to our policies. We will not facilitate this; we are opposed to this.”


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