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Concerns raised over heavily contaminated site in Vauxhall

Concerns raised over heavily contaminated site in Vauxhall

Some of the waste before it was removed. Pic by Contamination Vauxhall

Fly-tipping on council-owned land in Vauxhall is causing concerns for residents after hazardous materials containing asbestos were detected onsite.

Cllr Joe Hanson told Scottie Press that a resident informed him about the issue – on the land off Vauxhall Road and Chisenhale Street – just a few days before the new year.


However, he admitted to not reporting it to the council until January 2, since this would be when most staff were returning from the Christmas holidays.


He says that the council then told him that they were looking for a specialist firm to remove the waste.


Cllr Hanson also alleged it could have been nearby residents who were behind the fly-tipping.


“Fly-tipping, sadly in Kirkdale, is a real massive problem,” he said.


“I deal with it on a daily basis, whether it be a mattress or three-piece suite dumped or a whole wagonload of stuff dumped.


“You can see that it’s been dumped by people living around the corner, it hasn’t been brought in by a wagon or whatever.


“The white van man goes along to somebody’s house, they pay him and then they just go around the corner and dump it. You know when it’s commercial dumping or ‘social’ dumping.”


Two months after informing the council, in early March, Cllr Hanson says he was surprised to hear from a resident that the waste was yet to be removed.


"Fly-tipping, sadly in Kirkdale, is a real massive problem."


He sent out letters to around 400 residents apologising about the delay, indicating that the issue was likely pushed back as a result of lockdown, which began on January 5.


For a lot of residents, this would be the first time that they would hear about the hazardous waste.


Previously, just one attempt had been made to inform residents – only this warning did not come from the council, but rather a mystery party.


In the last week of February, leaflets were posted through the doors of residents who lived nearby the site.


The leaflet claims that the main body of dumping occurred sometime in the last two years.


It adds that an initial inspection found heavy oils, chemicals and asbestos amongst the “2,000 tonnes of heavily contaminated waste.”


Since then, CC Geotechnical Ltd has carried out a survey of the site, detecting asbestos containing materials at levels between 0.622% and 5.08%.


Anything above 0.1% is considered hazardous, according to the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005.


Last week the council began removing the waste.


A resident, who said he flagged up the issue to the council twice, told Scottie Press that “truck loads” of waste were removed by people in biohazard suits.


Kevin Gibbons revealed this was during daytime hours, nearby a bus stop used by residents heading into the city centre.


“You have to be worried, don’t you?” he said.


“That’s a horrible building site anyway. It’s just a mess – the whole L3 area. You walk along Vauxhall Road and it’s just half-developed buildings.


“It’s been like that for years now and nothing’s getting done.”


A council spokesperson said that any risk to members of the public was “minimal” and further inspections of the site will take place.


“In addition the removal of the material is being undertaken by a specialist contractor so the materials can be taken off site in a safe and controlled manner to minimise any risk to the workers and members of the public,” they said.