31,000 tonnes of waste has finally been cleared

AN illegal waste site in Swansea which regulators have said threatened to pollute the environment has finally been cleared.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said that at its peak the site in Swansea docks contained 31,000 tonnes of illegally stored waste, which posed a risk to people and the environment from pests, odour and pollution.

The rubbish consisted of baled waste, reportedly including some clinical waste, and shredded combustible rubbish known as solid recovered fuel.

People living in St Thomas and Port Tennant complained of foul smells emanating from the site in 2015.

Jonathan Willington, NRW waste regulation team leader, said: “People who run waste businesses have a duty to do so responsibly, and in a way which is not going to harm local people or the environment.”

NRW said the waste was supposed to be temporarily stored on site by two companies, EPS (Alternative Fuels) Ltd and Environmental Practical Solutions Ltd, before being exported.

But after accepting payment for the waste, it said the companies failed to take much of it away, leaving large piles on site.

Legal action by NRWales in 2015 banned further arrivals of waste at the site and required the companies to clear the backlog.

But both companies went into liquidation in 2017 and were subsequently dissolved, leaving around 6,000 tonnes of waste on site.

With no legal avenues left to pursue, NRW asked the landowner, Associated British Ports (ABP), for support.

ABP agreed to take responsibility for removing the waste, all of which has now been removed

Mr Willington added: “There are strict rules and regulations that need to be followed, and we regulate sites to make sure that companies comply with these without cutting corners.

“In this case our officers worked tirelessly, using all the legal tools available to them, to remove the risk from the waste that was abandoned on the site.

“We’d like to thank ABP for their support and cooperation in achieving this result for the community.”

Speaking in October about the situation, St Thomas councillor Joe Hale, who is also a member of the Swansea Bay Port Health Authority, said: “It’s not the fault of ABP, and it’s not really the fault of Natural Resources Wales either.

“When you have two companies which act in the manner that they have acted, it’s really difficult.

“You have to go through every possible process and give the companies every possible opportunity to do the right thing.”

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