Monday, 10 March 2008


By Cobbler’s apprentice

Durham County Council-owned Premier Waste has “rubbished” claims in a BBC television programme that it had dumped “potentiually hazardous waste” near peoples’ homes.

The “Inside Out” programme on BBC1 on Friday 7th March featured the village of Newfield near Bishop Auckland where residents have been complaining of appalling smells coming from the nearby Todhills waste disposal site. Two out of four samples sent for testing by the BBC showed potentially lethal bacteria such as E.coli was present, and one “far exceeded Government test levels.”

Household waste is given heat treatment to render it into harmless compost-like material before being used to “cap” landfill sites. But if the temperature does not reach the required level – as alleged in the BBC programme – it could be a dangerous health hazard. The programme can be viewed online (see links below).

Dr Les Grant, Premier’s chief executive, told the Northern Echo of 8th March that the samples tested for the BBC “may well have been contaminated by e-coli after they have left the plant.” But he admitted that there had been “a bad smell” in and around Newfield, and this would continue until the site was completely capped.

No comments: