A huge pile of rubbish in the centre of Ludlow is to be cleared after councillors asked the Environment Agency to take action.
Ludlow Skip Hire Ltd recently took over the waste transfer site on Temeside. The site is only licenced for storing 66 tonnes of waste but it has many times that volume at present. Neighbours have complained about the unsightly mess and smell, and they are worried the pile will attract rats.
After Viv Parry and I contacted Shropshire Council officers, the Environment Agency was called in. Alison Pearson, Shropshire & Herefordshire Environment Officer for the EA inspected the site last Friday, 9 May. She found that the site is “not in compliance with its environmental permit.” The site operators assured her that the waste pile is a temporary problem. Alison agreed with the operators that she will receive a weekly update on reduction in the waste pile. If the stockpile is not substantially reduced by 20 June, the EA will serve a notice to suspend the operator’s permit, which will stop more waste entering the site.
Viv Parry, Shropshire Council for Ludlow South has had several reports about the stink from the site annoying people who live nearby. She said: “The waste is piled to an incredible height and everyone is worried about rats and other vermin. We’re also worried that waste will be blown from the site in stormy weather. In dry weather, there’s a real danger the waste pile will catch on fire. There was a fire on the site a few years ago.”
The first thing we needed to sort out is the licence conditions for the site. It’s a transfer site for sorting waste, not a storage site. As such, it is licenced for just 66 tonnes of waste. It’s storing a lot more than that at the moment. The debris is piled far too high and more waste arrives by the day.
The agreement we now have is a good one. Ludlow Skip Hire has a month to clear the rubbish. They say they have already reduced the stockpile by 110 tonnes. The deadline set by the Environment Agency should ensure that the site operates within its licence conditions in the future. It will also reduce the risks of vermin and smells over the summer months.
Shropshire Council and the Environment Agency have acted quickly and effectively.