Pile of food waste at Glasgow recycling centre branded health hazard

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A huge pile of food waste dumped at a Glasgow recycling plant has been described as a health hazard for workers and the public by concerned union members.

Glasgow city council assured workers and residents living near the Blochairn Recycling Centre that the problem was a short term issue with their compost contractor, who is unable to receive its usual quantity of waste due to an update of their waste management system.

The local authority is expecting to resolve the situation by the end of next week, and admitted some ‘conaminated’ material from the site would now be sent to landfill, but the GMB has raised concerns that the “nauseating” mound of waste would attract vermin to the site.

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Convenor Chris Mitchell said: “Glasgow city council promised a cleaner, greener and safer environment, but now we find out it’s going down a big hole in the form of a landfill.

The pile of food waste at the recycling centre.The pile of food waste at the recycling centre.
The pile of food waste at the recycling centre. | Contributed

“The council asked its workers to promote recycling to the public and the public took time out to recycle – now after seeing this the workforce and the public will no doubt feel let down.

“This is also a breach of health and safety for the plant workforce and the public living around the plant; this will no doubt attract vermin en mass as its food waste and garden waste mixed together.”

Glasgow City Council insisted there had been no breach of health and safety standards at the site, and accused the trade union of scaremongering.

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A spokeswoman said: “There is no breach of health and safety and to suggest otherwise is scaremongering.

“A short term issue has arisen and precautionary action has been taken to safeguard staff and prevent bad odours for neighbouring residents.

“Our composting contractor is currently unable to receive the usual quantity of waste as it’s upgrading its systems. Work is underway and the situation is expected to improve next week. We also have some specialist equipment in for repair and everything is being done to get it fully operational as soon as possible.

“To safeguard staff and reduce any risk of odours for residents near the recycling sites, we have had to send some contaminated material to landfill.

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“This is a precautionary, short term measure in the interests of staff well-being and to protect city residents from odours. Composting will fully resume as soon as possible.”

The GMB convenor has also described the situation as nauseating as well as shameful.

Mr Mitchell added: “The footage taken from the Blochairn Recycling Plant is nauseating but imagine spending your working day around this.

“This waste should never be lying in the open for that amount of time. Climate change is real and this is nothing other than an environmental catastrophe.

“We as a union would like to see more jobs in recycling to help communities and the environment but this gives us not hope but disappointment.”

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