Extra time to clear stinking waste in Ludlow [updated 2 August]

The Environment Agency has given a waste company extra time to clear a waste pile in Ludlow but warns of smells over the next couple of weeks.

Ludlow Skip Hire inherited a huge pile of waste when it purchased the site earlier in the year.  As the weather got hotter up, the rubbish pile began to stink. People were also getting worried about the fire risk.

Councillor Vivienne Parry and myself asked Shropshire Council to contact the Environment Agency to get the problem dealt with. The agency gave the skip hire company five weeks to clear several hundred tonnes of waste on the site, which is only licenced for storing 66 tonnes of waste.

The company hasn’t quite made the deadline. It has moved around 500 tonnes of waste wood, soil, and mixed waste. But there is a lot of mixed waste, including domestic waste, remaining. The Environment Agency has now given the company a two week extension to get the waste down to permitted levels.

Ludlow Skip Hire 22 JuneWaste pile 22 June 2014

The problem is that some of this waste has been around for a long time and it stinks. I am sorry for the residents of Temeside and of St Laurence’s View in particular who have had to put up with this smell for months.

I am grateful that Ludlow Skip Hire has worked hard to get this problem resolved, though I am puzzled why the problem arose in the first place. I hope it will be able to get the rest of the waste cleared in the next couple of weeks.

Between 12 May and 20 June there has been a significant decrease in material on site. Ludlow Skip Hire has removed just under 300 tonnes of sorted mixed wastes from site and approximately 195 tonnes of soil and stone. They have diverted around 40 tonnes of waste directly to landfill rather than sorting it on the site. The company has had to turn business away. Despite this it has managed to retain its six employees.


Update 4 July 2014

I’ve been contacted by the Environment Agency. Ludlow Skip Hire have cleared 800 tonnes of excess waste. There are 100 tonnes left to be removed to bring the site down to its permitted storage levels.

The company is working to get the rest of excess taken to landfill. It is refusing any skips which have more than 25% mixed waste. Normally these would be sorted on the site to reclaim materials before the residual material is sent to landfill. Now whole loads are sent directly to landfill. That’s not good environmentally or for the balance sheet of the company.

The Environment Agency has now agreed that Ludlow Skip Hire can have until the end of July to clear its waste.This follows detailed discussions with the company about its operations and finances.

I agree with this. The waste remains an inconvenience to residents and at times it stinks, but it is being cleared in a controlled manner and in a way that will allow the company to continue in business.


Update 2 August

The Environment Agency have clarified the timescale for removal of waste.

“There are 3 timescales that Ludlow Skip Hire have proposed in their improvement plan. The first by the end of July was to remove the 2 waste piles outside the building, the second to remove around 2/3 of the waste within the building by the end of August and the third to remove all waste within the building that was there from the tenure of McGrath’s by the end of September.”

The EA also says:

“[We are] concerned that the rate of waste removal from the site has decreased over the last week  – in part due to problems with incineration that have affected the disposal chain. However the situation on site is improving and they have booked further rat baiting next week. No rats or evidence of rats was seen at the site yesterday.”