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The Questionable Use of Asbestos in Ley Hill Landfill

Residents in the village of Ley Hill are reportedly concerned over plans to fill a disused quarry with an ‘approved range’ of waste materials, including asbestos.

Meadham’s Farm brickworks, part of the Michelmersh Brick group, in Blackwell Hall Lane, Ley Hill, was previously a brickworks for approximately 40 years. It was closed in 2013 and is to be restored for agricultural purposes. Due to planning permission, the condition of the disused vacant clay pits means the land is to be filled with waste materials containing asbestos.

In a public letter from the company’s chief executive, Mr Warner said, “It’s acknowledged that the proposal to accept asbestos, instead of a wider range of putrescible materials (e.g. household, commercial and industrial waste) may be of concern and the company is therefore keen to talk to local residents to explain its plans and the methods that would be used to handle waste to enable them to be accepted in a safe manner in accordance with all accepted guidelines and regulations.”

With a large fleet of HGV vehicles delivering the hazardous waste to the site, safety precautions are being taken to ensure locals are aware of the work that is to take place. But why should people be concerned about the disposal of asbestos?

For information on the hazard of asbestos read our Asbestos FAQs blog here.

Since the 1950s, there were over 3,500 different products containing asbestos being manufactured until its ban in 1999. From floor tiles to insulation, asbestos was used in commercial buildings and houses. If a building was built pre-1999 there is a chance that it contains asbestos. If asbestos is disturbed, exposure to the dust can be fatal, with the effects of asbestos difficult for doctors to detect for a minimum of 10 years following exposure. Because of this, specialist disposal of asbestos is required by regulated professionals.

In the case of the village of Ley Hill, asbestos is being disposed of as landfill. But what are the options for asbestos disposal, given its hazardous properties? Following approved codes of practice, an Environment Agency licenced transfer station that is run in strict accordance with Pollution Prevention Control regulations is used in removing the asbestos, ensuring that people cannot possibly be exposed to its dangerous fibres. Landfilling is the most affordable and convenient form of asbestos disposal in comparison to thermal and chemical options.

When it comes to asbestos-related diseases, prevention is a priority as much finding a cure, and the continued use of landfills highlights the need for further methods of disposal.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have a specialist team of Asbestos Compensation Solicitors that deal with Asbestos claims on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation call freephone 0800 884 0275 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

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