Bruslee Recycling and Civic Amenity Site was not used as a dumping ground for radioactive waste, the council has assured local residents.
Concerns were voiced by people living near the former landfill facility after an article was published in a Belfast newspaper revealing that Bruslee was one of five sites in Northern Ireland authorised by the Government for the disposal of radioactive waste in the 1970s and 80s.
However, the article claimed that while such waste was buried at sites at Duncrue Street in Belfast and Culmore Point in Londonderry, the Newtownabbey facility “had not been used.”
But the mere mention of radioactive waste caused concern for local residents, with some taking to social networking sites to voice their fears.
“What is Newtownabbey Council doing to allay our fears? Are we safe? Are our children safe? Someone needs to step forward with explanations and reveal the scale and implications for our health and safety,” one resident said.
Speaking to the Times this week, a council spokesperson said that Government papers, recently released under the 30 year rule, clearly state that Bruslee was never used for the disposal of radioactive waste.
“The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has confirmed that one operator was authorised to dispose of low-level radioactive waste to Bruslee landfill site by controlled burial, subject to special precautions, between 1974 and 1988. However, a review of NIEA records indicates that no controlled burials took place at Bruslee,” she said.
Ballyclare DUP councillor, Mandy Girvan added: “I would like to reassure residents that although Bruslee was identified as a potential site, it was not used for the dumping of radioactive waste.”