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Explosion fears at Swansea landfill

03 May 2012

The operator of a Swansea landfill site have been criticised after it emerged there could have been a serious gas explosion at the site. The Environment Agency Wales report found rubbish was spread over a gas pipe at the Tir John site on the east side of the city, which could have been ruptured by on-site machinery.

The report said a gas pipe could easily have been ruptured by heavy plant at the Tir John site
The report said a gas pipe could easily have been ruptured by heavy plant at the Tir John site

The operator, Swansea City Waste Disposal said it had made improvements and planned more.

The report said waste had been spread over a gas collection main. It said: "Had the placement of the wastes, which was placed using a large excavator, ruptured the gas main then this could in turn have caused a serious incident at the site. There is no conceivable reason or justification for this poor practice and measures to ensure no re-occurrence must be implemented with immediate effect.”

Waste was also tipped on to capped land, which was no longer used for landfill, and could have contaminated water, the report said.

"This failure raises serious concerns over the general management of day-to-day activities at the facility which must be addressed."

Swansea City Waste Disposal was planning to open new landfill cells on the site and, as part of the process, had invited the environment agency to visit the site.

In a statement the company said: "Improvements have already been carried out and the board, with the support of the council, has agreed an action plan to implement a number of further improvements to the operation at Tir John.

"The environment agency is aware of the action plan and is supportive of the approach being taken to address their concerns."


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