Nigel welcomes news that the rubbish tip in at Great Heck is to be cleared.
Nigel has been assisting villagers in Great Heck who have been campaigning to get the huge pile of waste removed since the firm running the tip collapsed in July, and it is thought there could be more than 10,000 tonnes of rotting rubbish.
In the past week, Nigel has met with ministers at DEFRA and the Treasury, as well as officials from the Environment Agency, to discuss possible solutions, urge them to assist with the clean-up, and to talk about how to prevent similar problems going forward by better regulation practices.
The Environment Agency, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Selby District Council and North Yorkshire County Council announced the clean-up, along with continuing monitoring of air quality, in a joint statement.
Wagstaff Total Waste Management Ltd, the firm stockpiling mixed recyclable waste at the site, entered voluntary liquidation on 13 July.
It has been estimated disposing of the rubbish tip, near the M62, could cost £1m in landfill tax. “There will be a significant cost in doing so, but they [the agencies] will be looking to recover the costs from those responsible”, said the statement.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has said it was attending the site regularly. “Long-running fires like this cause temporary effects, distress, stress and anxiety, but it’s important to understand that the on-going risk to health is likely to be low”, said the joint statement.
Public Health England said anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms should contact their GP.
The Environment Agency is currently investigating alleged waste offences and monitoring the odour from the site. The organisations are working together to co-ordinate the response to the problems caused by the waste site.
Nigel said, “I am very pleased that all these agencies have come together to address this pressing situation. I will continue to monitor progress and to urge that normality be restored for the people of Great Heck and the surrounding area as soon as possible. I also look forward to working with ministers and the Environment Agency to help put forward proposals for better regulation in the waste disposal industry so that we can prevent situations like this occurring in the future, and better hold waste operators to account for problems.”