To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has held discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Secretary on the potential risk and costs of a fire at the abandoned waste site at Sandy Lane, Worksop.
The site at Sandy lane was abandoned in October 2016 and from this point onwards there has been no site management. There have however been regular Police and Fire service patrols and the site is monitored using CCTV.
The Environment Agency is working with Local Resilience Forum members, including Bassetlaw District Council, the Nottinghamshire Fire Service, Nottinghamshire County Council and Public Health England, to manage the risks at the site and is acting to clear the waste that also poses a risk to human health.
There are three main waste streams which have been left at the site: mixed non-hazardous combustible waste in and around the transfer building; mixed construction and demolition (C&D) non-combustible waste outside and the bags of polyurethane foam, mostly deposited in the centre of the site. The table below outlines the estimated costs associated with each waste stream. The cost of this clearance, excluding landfill tax have not been included as the landfill tax is not waived, which has been previously communicated by HMT to the HM for Bassetlaw.
Estimated quantity (tonnes)1
Estimated Costs in £k (including Landfill Tax)
Mixed C&D non-combustible
1The tonnages have been estimated by officers’ observations on site. A more accurate assessment of the volumes of waste present at the site would cost around £5K.
The main environmental and health risk from the site is from the polyurethane foam left on site. The Environment Agency, county and district councils have set funds aside and are making plans to remove this foam as soon as possible.
The Environment Agency has also been working in close partnership with Bassetlaw District Council, Notts Fire & Rescue Service, Police, the County Council and Public Health England, to create a tactical plan which will be implemented in the event of a fire. The Notts Fire & Rescue Service will shortly be entering the site and will attempt to move wastes around the site to allow for fire breaks and better access.
The other environmental risks are in relation to the degradation of the waste. The Environment Agency, Fire and Rescue Service and Bassetlaw DC do have powers to intervene in exceptional circumstances where there is a serious risk to the environment and health.
The Environment Agency is continuing its investigation into the former operators of the site. There is close contact about the site at official level across Government agencies. The Secretary of State has not discussed the site with Cabinet colleagues since his appointment on 11 June.