Drone footage shows how waste management firm Broad Environmental has transformed the face of a storage site at Warrington docks – removing more than 66,000 tonnes of waste, which had been illegally dumped.
One of the largest clean-ups of industrial waste ever seen in the UK, Broad Environmental – which has offices in Shrewsbury, Manchester and London – was able to recover and recycle more than 94% of the waste.
The company was appointed to process and remove thousands of bales, which filled two huge storage units and every available inch of space around the buildings and along the canal side.
It followed the eviction of waste management company Asset and Land Group, which had intended to use the adjacent Manchester Ship Canal to send the material as a combustible fuel for use within energy from waste plants in the Nordics.
“I am very happy with the way the project has been managed and the recovery rates that we have achieved. I am now happy to hand the site back to the landowners so as they can look for new tenants and begin to recover the costs they have incurred in the site clearance.”
The clean-up process took Broad Environmental 18 months to complete with a final clear up cost totalling in excess of £6m. By contracting with Broad Environmental and not sending the material straight to landfill, the landowners were able to save in excess of £3m.
“This project was one of the largest clearances of abandoned waste seen the UK,” revealed Broad Environmental director Alistair Hilditch-Brown.
“We did not have any information on the contents of the bales stored on site and no information of their provenance, this meant that we had to split open every bale to ensure that the correct handling procedures were followed and material was managed in line with waste hierarchy.”
In 2013, Asset and Land Group were investigated by the Environment Agency after major fires broke out at two sites they managed in Greater Manchester.
The first fire, at a site in Stockport, lasted for 41 days and resulted in the closure of the M60 motorway and three weeks of disruption to other traffic.
Environment Agency modelling suggested that a fire at the Warrington site would have affected the Manchester Ship Canal, West Coast Railway and flights in and out of Manchester andLiverpool airports causing huge disruption.
“We have worked closely with our client and the Environment Agency to deliver a fully compliant and auditable service,” Alistair explained. “I am very happy with the way the project has been managed and the recovery rates that we have achieved. I am now happy to hand the site back to the landowners so as they can look for new tenants and begin to recover the costs they have incurred in the site clearance.”
Broad Environmental has successfully completed the removal and reprocessing of over 300,000 tonnes of abandoned waste since 2016, and has contracts in place to clear a further 350,000 tonnes over the next two years.
With both with waste crime and waste abandonment on the increase, Alistair issued a sober warning to landlords and landowners.
“Waste crime and abandoned waste are two of the fastest growing issues throughout the UK, costing many innocent landlords and landowners millions of pounds every year – not to mention the environmental impact they can leave behind.
“Broad Environmental is committed to tackling these issues working with the Environment Agency and by providing support to landlords and landowners affected,” he said.