Former landfill site designated contaminated land

A former landfill site used between the 1960s and 1990s has been designated contaminated land after gas was found to be leaking close to nearby homes creating a 'unacceptable risk' to residents.

Rochdale Borough Council realised the site, which was closed and landscaped over in the mid-1990s, was producing gas in 2002.

The authority has been monitoring the site ever since and this month it found the gas had migrated as the rubbish, a mix of commercial and domestic, moved underground from the original site.

Gas is produced from the natural breakdown of the dumped rubbish in this case wood, paper and other wastes, which are creating methane and carbon dioxide.

At the moment tests are not showing the gas inside residential properties but the council, by designating the land as contaminated, is taking the first step towards clearing it up.

Andy Gumbley, environmental control manager at the council, said: “We have contacted the company responsible for the land-filling at Boo Hole and they now have three months to respond with voluntary proposals to address the problems if they wish to do so.

“After that time if an agreement cannot be reached the council would serve a remediation notice and seek funds from government to carry out the necessary work.

“Unfortunately the work needed is fairly extensive and there is a legal process to be followed so this may take some time.”

The council has so far carried out a record search about the type of wastes that went into the site, installing boreholes for monitoring, taken soil samples, carried out risk assessments and stated there is was ‘no risk to site users’

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