Stinking 10,000 tonne pile of rubbish in Great Heck, Yorkshire investigated by Environment Agency

Stinking 10,000 tonne pile of rubbish in Great Heck, Yorkshire investigated by Environment Agency

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[Story via The Telegraph, by Sophie Jamieson]

 

A huge, steaming pile of waste is making life miserable for residents of a small village in Yorkshire.

People living in Great Heck, near Goole, say the mountain of rotting rubbish is making them ill. The odour is so bad it can even be smelled indoors.

Asked to describe the stench, Laura Watkinson-Teo, who lives near the site said: “It smells like, if you can imagine, burning plastic and leftover tampons and sanitary towels being incinerated.

“The pile is half household waste. It’s got nappies. It’s got everything on there.”

The tip has been building up for years, but the company responsible for maintaining it, Wagstaff Total Waste Management, has gone bust.

 

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 [Photo: Laura Watkinson-Teo]

The Environment Agency has launched an investigation into alleged waste offences and made arrests. They say they will take “strong action” against anyone who harms the environment.

The government agency are also said to be “monitoring the odour” at the site.

As much as 10,000 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste is thought to be piled at the site.

Ms Watkinson-Teo told the Telegraph the “absolutely vile” odour was particularly affecting small children. One of her neighbours blamed the smell for her child’s asthma attacks.

Complaints were first made about the site more than a year ago.

Ms Watkinson-Teo said the waste had begun to set fire to itself earlier this year.

“It’s been bad for a few years now but it got to the crunch this summer. In May it just combusted and there was fire after fire. The fire brigade has been here so many times.”

Local campaigners have taken the issue up with their MP Nigel Adams who is working with the Environment Agency to take action.

It is believed the cost of clearing the site will be £1m, which the landlord said he cannot afford.

Graham Brocklesby, the owner of the site, told the BBC: “We need some help… whoever can lighten the impact of the cost that is going to be incurred here.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The Environment Agency is investigating alleged waste offences at a site in Great Heck, near Selby. The waste site was operated by Wagstaff Total Waste Management Limited, which recently went into liquidation.

“We have made arrests as part of this investigation and will take strong action against anyone who has caused harm to the environment.

“We are closely monitoring the site and working with the landowner to ensure waste at the site is removed safely.”

Wagstaff Total Waste Management could not be reached for comment. The company is described on its website as: “a responsible and professional total waste management company regulated by the Environment Agency”.