Biffa Landfill Site: Your questions for the Community Liaison meeting

Redhill landfill siteThe horrible smell from the landfill in Redhill is causing a serious nuisance and has gone on far too long.

All of us who hoped for a quick resolution when the Environment Agency first stepped in and required Biffa to produce an action plan are disappointed.

Seven weeks on, the smell is as bad as ever. In fact I think tonight is the worst yet.

Many residents are frustrated that their questions to Biffa have not been answered. Some have been calling for a public meeting, which Biffa has refused.

Community Liaison meeting

Next Wednesday, 12 March, there is a Community Liaison meeting at Biffa.

This is a regular meeting intended to keep residents informed about developments at the site and to enable people to ask questions. This time Biffa have said the meeting is “strictly for invitees only”.  A number of residents are on the invitation list, however they don’t have any clear representative role.

Cllr Jonathan Essex and I will both attend the meeting. Our role as your local Councillors – and in Jonathan’s case your County Councillor too – is to represent you. So we’ll raise all the issues residents have been bringing to us over the past two months and more.

Send your questions and comments

If you would like any questions or comments raised at the meeting, please send them to me – either leave a comment on this blog post, email me on sarah@redhillgreens.org.uk or tweet @redhillgreens

I will take all residents’ contributions to the meeting and if there is not time to raise them all, I will give them to the relevant body (whether Biffa, the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council or the local Environmental Health Officers) and follow up to make sure they are addressed.

I will also publish them on this blog so if anyone’s interested, you can see what’s been asked and what the answers are.

Not only the smell

The smell may be uppermost in our minds right now but there are other issues to discuss with Biffa too. Residents have raised the following points, which we will discuss at the meeting:

  • Lorry traffic – Biffa should be reducing from 600 movements a day to 400. Residents’ perceptions are that lorry traffic is increasing. We will ask Biffa to provide details of recorded HGV visits to and from their site during the period September 2013 to date.
  • Landscape restoration conditions appear to be being breached.
  • Biffa damaged the foot and cycle path along the northern edge of its site so we will ask how this is being restored.
  • Soil recycling facility – this is highly visible from the town. The piles appear higher than in the planning permission and are not covered.

Come on Biffa, you can do it!

Biffa’s Redhill landfill used to be extremely well run. People came here from other areas to see how it should be done.

This was at one time the only landfill site in Europe to reach the standard for EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) certification.  EMAS is a management instrument for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance.

So the humble Redhill landfill was the best managed landfill in the whole of Europe!

Sadly standards have slipped.  Biffa no longer reaches EMAS standards.  Since 2007, the site has been dogged by smell problems. As one industry watcher told me, “Biffa used to be in the Premier League, now they’re in the Ryman League”.

Redhill residents shouldn’t have to put up with this stink. If Biffa can’t sort it out, maybe it’s time to show them the red card.

 

Report the smell!

Report the smell on the Environment Agency’s free 24 hotline: 0800 807060.

Read more:

Earlier blog post with links to the Environment Agency’s Q&A document

Environment Agency website

Biffa website

 

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