Destinations of hazardous waste imports revealed

Greater Manchester took in more than 60% of the hazardous waste imported into England in 1991/2, according to statistics given in a parliamentary answer by Environment Minister David Maclean.1 The biggest importers, and those who stand to lose most from a tightening of the import rules (see above), were the Lanstar and Leigh groups, Collier Industrial Waste and ReChem.

The figures below show that notified imports of hazardous waste into England in 1991/2 totalled 40,516 tonnes. Imports to waste management sites in Greater Manchester amounted to 24,704 tonnes.

Broken down by company, the figures show that the two Lanstar businesses imported a total of 11,581 tonnes in 1991/2, while the three Leigh businesses - Leigh Environmental, Polymeric Treatment and Progressive Waste Disposal - imported 9,500 tonnes.

The figures do not in all cases give the final destination of the imported wastes. For example, Triton and Grosvenor both handle PCB transformers and capacitors, but they have no PCB disposal facilities themselves. The extracted PCBs are presumably sent for incineration to ReChem or Cleanaway.

Similar figures are not available for Wales or Scotland. However, another recent parliamentary answer revealed that imports of hazardous waste for final disposal in Wales totalled 4,933 tonnes in 1991/2.2 The figure was the lowest since regulations requiring the notification of imports were introduced in October 1988. A substantial proportion of this tonnage is probably incinerated by ReChem at Pontypool.

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