Concerns as 12 Suffolk landfill sites could contain 'hazardous material'

Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Concerns have been raised over hazardous waste in Suffolk - Credit: PA

A dozen Suffolk landfill sites have been labelled as hazardous in a new survey raising concerns about the content of the sites.

Comparison site Uswitch.com used official Environmental Agency data to determine the location of sites across the UK where hazardous landfills were located. 

The survey said the region had 12 'hazardous landfills' in Suffolk with Ipswich ranking as having one of the districts with the most toxic landfills per km².

An Environment Agency spokesman confirmed that two of Suffolk's active landfill sites contained asbestos.

“There are two active landfill sites in Suffolk that accept asbestos, which is classed as hazardous waste, these are in Great Blakenham and Tattingstone," they said.


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"No other hazardous waste is allowed at these sites.

“In accordance with the legislation, fibrous asbestos may only be landfilled if received in sealed bags and placed in specially engineered cells and immediately covered with soil.

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“The location of each cell is recorded to enable it to be identified in the future. The landfill operators must also undertake monitoring of asbestos fibres.

“The Environment Agency regularly undertakes compliance checks for all permitted landfills (whether active or closed), including the scrutiny of borehole monitoring data, to ensure continued protection of the environment."

The other ten sites are those which are either closed to the public or no longer accept material. 

The spokesman said that because of the age of some of these sites, they can contain household waste considered hazardous including batteries and cement. 

In the past these would have been put in the bin with other waste rather than being separated out as they are now, leading to the sites being labelled as possibly containing hazardous material. 

Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “The shockingly high number of toxic landfills scattered across the country highlights the variety of problems these landfills can cause.

“It is down to the local authorities to help identify them and organise a clean-up. Some of these older landfills haven’t been lined before the waste was deposited, unlike modern landfills, which means that the chemicals can escape."

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