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New Government-owned Landfill Site to be progressed 12 April 2006

Following a further objective review of possible locations across the Island, the Department of Local Government and the Environment has concluded that a smaller site within the Archallagan Plantation should be progressed as the next long-term landfill site. The Department has expended some £16,000 of public money to see whether there might be a viable alternative to Archallagan but has found that it remains the most suitable on both environmental and technical assessments.

Though planning permission was granted to the Department in the Autumn of 2003, it has been unable to progress a new landfill site in Archallagan due to a noise condition being recommended by the independent Inspector which rendered the site inoperable.

The lack of an operational Government-owned landfill site has led the Department to apply for permission to extend the life of Wright’s Pit North in Bride for a further 3 years. The Department was bitterly disappointed that, once again, it has had to rely on the residents of Bride to provide an interim landfill site for asbestos-contaminated construction wastes, roofing felt and non-incinerable Civic Amenity Site waste.

The two landfill sites in Bride closed on the 31st December 2005, leaving Isle of Man Government without its own landfill site.

In December 2005 the Department employed a firm of consultants to update an all-Island landfill site options review, previously undertaken in 2000, to determine whether there were any other sites which would be suitable for a future Government landfill operation, based on the current criteria required. Waste levels to landfill has decreased considerably since 2000, capacity now being estimated to be 500,000 tonnes over 20 years.

The study reviewed 13 sites, 10 in Government ownership, and 3 in private ownership. Many of the sites were still not suitable for various reasons, including traffic problems, lack of void space, difficulty in engineering the sites, etc. The review concluded that the site in Archallagan Plantation is still the most suitable site for development at present and the Department will be submitting a new planning application for a reduced landfill site in the near future.

Department Minister, John Rimington, MHK, explained,

“I can understand that residents in the area of Archallagan will be disappointed by this news. There is no community that wishes to have a landfill site in its area. However, the Island needs a strategic landfill facility for wastes that are neither inert nor incinerable. The new site will be engineered to a high standard, will be lined, and every effort will be made to minimise the impact on the local community. Even though the commissioning of the latest study has delayed the submission of a new planning application for this desperately needed facility by over six months, the Department considered that it had a duty to revisit all the options and ensure it was making the right decision in the national interest”.

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