Kent RDF firm Waste4Fuel has abandoned its site in Orpington, according to the Environment Agency.
The site has been under close scrutiny by the authorities due to the storage of thousands of tonnes of waste bales and a number of fires at the Cornwall Drive facility over the past year.
Problems at the site have gained national media coverage, due to the visibility of the waste stack and its proximity to neighbouring properties.
In a statement published this afternoon (July 31) the Agency claimed that staff have been absent from the Waste4Fuel site for a week and it is now considering the location abandoned.
As such, the Agency will begin installing fencing from tomorrow to secure the site and reduce the potential for trespassing, arson or other anti-social behaviour, whilst also allowing priority access to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
The fencing was one of the conditions of an enforcement notice issued to the operators of the site on July 8, which has not been complied with. The notice also prohibited any additional waste from being deposited on the site.
‘We hope to make significant improvements at the site in the near future; however we cannot do this alone so we will continue to work with London Borough of Bromley and other partners to resolve this issue.’
Chris Hazelton, Environment Agency
Waste4Fuel was issued with the notice after the High Court dismissed charges of contempt brought against the company by the Agency in relation to the firms alleged failure to comply with an order to install fire breaks and separate areas for new waste at the site.
While the site operator and the landowner are responsible for the clear up of the site, the Environment Agency has said that it is not walking away from the site and is working with those responsible plus the London borough of Bromley and other partners to consider reducing the amount of waste left on the site.
Chris Hazelton, Environment Manager at the Environment Agency, said: We understand the frustration of local residents and were committed to finding a solution that will bring to an end the upset and nuisance for the community.
We hope to make significant improvements at the site in the near future; however we cannot do this alone so we will continue to work with London Borough of Bromley and other partners to resolve this issue.
The site had been used to store waste such as tyres, plastics, cardboard, metals and paper for processing into RDF. In March, Waste4Fuel said it had made real headway in removing waste from the site (see letsrecycle.com story).
Waste4Fuel could not be reached when contacted by letsrecycle.com for comment.