Biffa ‘prepared’ to listen to residents

The entrance to Biffa's landfill site at The Cottonmount, Mallusk. INNT 05-066-FP
The entrance to Biffa's landfill site at The Cottonmount, Mallusk. INNT 05-066-FP

Biffa has said it is prepared to listen to residents’ concerns about a proposed plan to build an asbestos disposal facility at its Cottonmount landfill site.

The company has said it has no plans to hold a public meeting on the plan, but said it is more than willing to meet with individual residents or groups to answer any questions they may have on the matter.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Biffa is one of the UK’s leading waste management companies.

“Our role is to treat the waste we all create at home and at work responsibly and our Cottonmount facility is one site where we do this.

“As the nature of the waste we generate changes, so too must our facilities and as a result we have requested a number of changes to our current planning permission and environmental permits to allow us to meet the needs of local households and businesses.

“The applications we have made at this time are accompanied by fully detailed technical assessments showing how all relevant environmental management requirements will be met and will not give rise to any additional impacts on local residents.

“For example, soil recycling is helping to reclaim soils which would otherwise have to be landfilled.”

She continued: “The proposed asbestos cell is in a small area within the main landfill and, unlike household waste, it is not odorous and doesn’t generate landfill gas so its impact outside the site is less than for biodegradable waste.

“Asbestos from local construction projects has to be landfilled as it can’t be incinerated or recycled but the quantities are small and it is covered immediately, in accordance with specific method statements, ensuring workers on site are kept safe.

“We have a clear process for residents to register concerns to ensure they are appropriately taken into account and that we have the opportunity to respond.

“We would stress that we have always been and remain transparent about our plans and open to direct dialogue with residents to alleviate any concerns.”