WRG enforcement notices in Scotland

Waste Recycling Group was hit by two enforcement notices by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in October after one of its landfills caught fire and another had odour problems.

On 7 October, SEPA sent WRG a warning letter about odours from its Greengairs landfill in North Lanarkshire. Local residents had complained to SEPA about the smell, which was so bad it was making them "sick" according to the Sunday Herald.

Greengairs has a history of odour problems running back to 1999 (ENDS Report 313, p 55 ). This time the smell was caused by leachate outbreaks within one of the landfill's cells. The cell was supposed to be capped in August, but work had been delayed due to bad weather.

WRG was served with an enforcement notice on 19 October, demanding the leachate was removed, the area deodorised and the cap installed by 5 November.

The cap had not been completed by the time ENDS went to press due to "windy weather raising health and safety issues for the contractors", according to WRG. SEPA is "considering" further action.

On 27 October, meanwhile, WRG was served with an enforcement notice after its Kaimes landfill caught fire. The landfill, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, was closed in 2002 when it was found to be operating without proper consent (ENDS Report 302, p 16 ).

In early October, however, a rock-fall broke open the landfill's cap causing air to be sucked in and the waste to "spontaneously ignite".

SEPA insists the risk from the fire is "low", but served the notice on WRG to ensure it revises its fire action plan and puts out the fire.

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