30 January 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

Permit suspended for Potters landfill site

Potters Waste Management has had the permit to operate its Bryn Posteg landfill site suspended by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

As a result, the Welsh waste firm is not allowed to tip any more waste in the landfill, which is sited near Llanidloes, Powys.

However, the company has confirmed that the site continues to be open to customers for waste reception within the materials recycling facility (MRF). Waste received will then be transported off site for disposal at one of its alternative disposal points.

Permit

The Bryn Posteg landfill site near Llanidloes, Powys

The news comes after evidence showed that the site now holds substantially more waste than is legally allowed, NRW said. And, the regulator estimates that the landfill site is also “significantly higher” in places than permitted. Both of these are a breach of the operator’s environmental permit.

Every landfill site in Wales needs an environmental permit from NRW to operate. This details how the operator will manage the site to minimise the impact on air, land and water in the area.

NRW has now instructed the company to examine the potential risk that this waste poses.

In response, James Potter, director at Potter Group, said: “All notices and deadlines issued to the site by Natural Resources Wales have been complied with, the company continues to spend significant sums of money, in the region of £2 million, to address such issues and we always strive to continually improve our operations.

“The company always works with the regulator to ensure that the site is compliant with its permit conditions and this will continue.”

Legal measures

Last year NRW said it applied other legal measures, such as serving legal notices on the operator, in an attempt to make the site compliant with its permit conditions.

David Powell, operations manager for Natural Resources Wales, said: “We try to work with operators of landfill sites wherever we can to make sure they protect the environment by complying with the conditions of their permit.

“We now have evidence that Bryn Posteg Landfill site contains significantly more waste than it is permitted to do so.

“The decision to stop waste being disposed of in the landfill is a last resort, but there is a risk to the surrounding environment as a result of over-tipping.

“The decision to stop waste being disposed of in the landfill is a last resort, but there is a risk to the surrounding environment as a result of over-tipping.”


David Powell
Natural Resources Wales

“Waste sites have a permit setting out rules which they have to follow so they don’t pose a risk to the environment and local people.

“We have given the company every opportunity to comply with the conditions in their permit but they have not done this.”

Under the terms of their environmental permit Potters Waste Management can tip up to 75,000 tonnes of waste at Bryn Posteg every year and this must be treated in a very specific way within an engineered area.

Investigations

NRW said its investigations are continuing and it is aware the operator disputes its findings.

Earlier this year, Potters came under fire from NRW after it was found that the company had breached the conditions of its permit for the processing of residual waste into refuse derived fuel (RDF), at its site at Permbroke Port (see letsrecycle.com story). This caused thousands of tonnes of waste to be diverted to landfill.

According to the company’s website, Gwynt Cymru Limited owns the rights to utilise the landfill gas generated at Bryn Posteg site. Gwynt Cymru Limited was purchased in 2010 by Potters GCL Limited. Gwynt Cymru Limited now operates as a subsidiary of Potter Group-owned Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Limited.

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