Premier Waste, the Durham County Council-owned waste disposal company, has been ordered by the Environment Agency to stop dumping “compost-like” material at the Joint Stocks site near Coxhoe. This follows a BBC television programme which exposed the fact that Premier had been spreading unsuitable material on another site at Newfield near Bishop Auckland.
Newfield residents had been complaining of the awful smell from the tip, due to waste being spread that had not been properly treated. Not only did the did the process produce a terrible stink, it was also a health hazard. Two out of four samples sent for testing by the BBC showed E.coli was present, and one “far exceeded Government test levels.”
The BBC1 “Inside Out” programme, broadcast on Friday 14th March, said that more than 1,000 lorry-loads of waste had been dumped at the Coxhoe site since the end of December. Tipping cannot resume until the Environment Agency is satisfied the process is safe. The BBC also reported that Premier’s waste processing site at Thornley, the source of the “unsuitable” material, had been shut down. Premier admitted they had nowhere to spread the material it produces.
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