Landfill activities cause problems for the environment
9 Jun 2006 – Ext01-D01
Landfill less. Recycle more. Protect the environment. This was the message from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) this week, after one of Scotlandâ€™s largest Councils was fined for polluting a major Glasgow river.
Glasgow City Council was fined Â£2000 at Glasgow Sherriff Court on Monday (5 June) after contaminated liquid leaked from their Summerston landfill site in the north of Glasgow and entered the River Kelvin. The liquid was the by-product of decomposing waste buried in the landfill.
Officers from SEPA noticed the leak during routine inspections of the site on 16 June and 5 August 2004. Samples of the liquid discharge and of the River Kelvin were analysed and both showed high levels of pollution.
â€œThis liquid is supposed to be collected, contained and treated on site, so that there is no damage to the environmentâ€ said Simon Pattullo, investigating officer for SEPA. â€œThat was clearly not happening on these two occasions. The River Kelvin is a well known fishing river, with increasingly good water quality. It is unacceptable that contaminated discharge from the landfill site found its way into this well known stretch of water.â€
The collection and treatment of liquid from landfill sites is just one of the reasons that landfill is becoming an unsustainable way of waste disposal. SEPA is a key player in the challenge to change the way Scotland disposes of its waste.
â€œThere is a massive drive to reduce, reuse and recycle going on throughout Scotland at the momentâ€ said Al Dewart, South West Area Manager for SEPA. â€œThe Councils in Scotland are currently investigating the options available to them for continuing the reduction of waste going to landfill. Until we have a full range of disposal methods developed and in use, the type of pollution incident witnessed at Summerston landfill in 2004 will always be a risk.â€
For more information on what can be done to reduce waste to landfill, visit the Scottish Waste Awareness website at: www.wasteawarescotland.org.uk.
Notes to editors
The actual charges against Glasgow City Council were:-
On 16 June 2004 and 5 August 2004, at Summerston Landfill Site, Glasgow you GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL did cause or knowingly permit poisonous, noxious or polluting matter, namely contaminated water indicative of landfill leachate, to enter controlled waters, namely the River Kelvin, by way of a peripheral surface water drain and a consented outfall pipe serving the leachate settlement lagoons, all there ;
CONTRARY to the Control of Pollution Act 1974 Section 30F(1) as amended