January 27, 2021

Diggers tackle smouldering dump: No it’s not Cayman Islands!

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_h353_w628_m6_otrue_lfalseThe following story is not about the Cayman Islands George Town waste fill Mount Trashmore Dump. The similarities are obvious. Read on.

Diggers tackle giant ‘smouldering’ waste mountain in cul-de-sac

_h0_w628_m6_otrue_lfalseFrom msn news

A team of diggers have begun clearing 2,500 tonnes of waste from a massive rubbish pile that has been smouldering for weeks.

The giant waste mountain towers 40ft high and is 60ft wide, and regularly catches fire.

_h0_w295_m6_otrue_lfalseIt sits next to a cul-de-sac near Orpington in Kent.

Residents say the rubbish pile has been left to fester for three years and is like living next to “rotting corpses”.

They have called for the entire 20,000-tonne mountain to be removed amid fears it is spouting toxic fumes which are endangering their .

Borough commander for Bromley fire station said crews have been called out to 23 significant blazes at the site, taking more than 2,000 man hours to put out and costing the taxpayer £650,000.

The (EA) has sent in a team of experts to clear some of the stinking pile to help fire crews get better access to the smouldering hot spot, which is buried deep under the rubbish.

Jan Watkins, 60, a grandmother-of-two, said: “It is a plague. It is a living nightmare.

“It is really, really horrible. You can’t open your doors or your windows. The smell that comes through is like rotting corpses. You can’t go out, it is in your clothes, in your hair, because the smell gets in them. You can’t use your garden.

“Many residents have sore throats and coughs. Anybody who has a breathing problem suffers greatly.”

She said residents had been campaigning to clear the site for three years, but accused the EA of not acting swiftly and letting the mound get out of control.

She said: “If the Environment Agency had taken action when we wanted them to two and a half years ago it would be half the size. We feel very, very let down.”

She said she feared the frequent fires were belching toxic fumes which could be endangering the health of her two young grandchildren, whom she looks after during the day.

The EA has been locked in a long-running battle with site operator Waste4Fuel to clear the rubbish, and is taking the unusual step of sending officers in to reduce the pile to a “safe” level.

In a statement it said: “Environment Agency contractors have entered the Waste4Fuel site in Orpington in an operation to lower the illegal waste pile to a safe level. The Environment Agency’s battle to ensure that the site operator and landowner clean up the site is continuing, but is taking this rare step to reduce the blight on the local community.”

Rob Wise, environment manager at the EA, said: “We understand the frustration of local residents and we will continue our fight against Waste4Fuel.

“It is not right that taxpayers should pick up the bill for this operation when it remains the responsibility of the site operator and landowners, but the priority is to make the site as safe as possible. We are committed to working with our partners, including the London Borough of Bromley, to find a long-term solution.”

Denise Clark, 34, a mother-of-two, said: “The smell, especially when it’s hot, is repugnant, disgusting. It makes you feel sick to the stomach.

“It’s like living next to a sewage works. We have a real rat problem. The size of the rats are massive – up to 2ft with their tails.

“I have a three-year-old son and five-year-old daughter and it makes me fear for their health. My son has eczema and it is not good for him.”

She said local schools do not allow children out in the playground at break when the rubbish pile is on fire because of health fears.

And she said residents fear the pile will one day cause a fire that gets out of control and spreads.

“About 18 months ago there was a fire that lasted 10 days and that was pretty scary. If the wind was blowing the other way it could have taken the whole street out.”

She blamed the unsightly “scourge” for sending house prices in the street down. “House prices have plummeted by about £100,000,” she added. “This rubbish tip is hitting our purse strings and our health and it is hitting our way of life.”

IMAGES:

The mountain of rubbish in Orpington. Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

For more on this story go to: http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/diggers-tackle-giant-smouldering-waste-mountain-in-cul-de-sac/

 

 

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