Local politicians have called on waste contractor Shanks urgently to sort out problems at the Galdenoch waste disposal site near Stranraer, after the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) criticised it for breaching environmental regulations for the third year running.
SEPA last week released its 2011 compliance assessments, which rank the Shanks-operated Galdenoch waste disposal site as “very poor”. In 2010 it was ranked as “poor” and in 2009 as “very poor”.
Dumfries and Galloway Council has a £270 million contract with Shanks to treat and manage waste in the region and the company operates five sites across the area.
Councillor Marion McCutcheon and Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown have written to Alistair Speedie, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s director of planning and environment services, to ask what the council can do as part of that contract to ensure Shanks complies with the regulations.
Councillor McCutcheon, who has the Galdenoch site in her ward, said: “SEPA has been critical of the Galdenoch waste disposal site for three years running. That would be unacceptable for any company in our area, but especially so when it is operating as part of a £270 million contract with the council.
“We have written to the council’s planning and environment director to ask what the council can do as part of that contract to ensure Shanks complies with the regulations. If taxpayers are going to pay them hundreds of millions of pounds to deal with waste, they have a right to expect they won’t pollute the environment.”
Mr Brown added: “Shanks needs to get its act together because local people will expect to see urgent improvements. The problems at the site aren’t one-offs and have been ongoing for some time. Shanks is guilty of significant and gross breaches of the rules. Limits on emissions are there to protect the environment and I have serious concerns about the effects on the local area.”