Update on Queens Mill Road waste site
The Environment Agency, Public Health England, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the West Yorkshire Police are pleased to announce that the former Hunter’s site is almost clear.
Together we have removed 8000 tonnes of waste and there is just 1000 tonnes left
We are hopeful that by mid March, the site will be clear of all the large scale waste and the fire will cease.
This is approximately 1 month earlier than anticipated and under budget. This is largely due to the efficient and collaborative partnership working with the organisations listed above.
There is just one small building left on the site which requires the waste removing from
As we finalise the clearance, our priority is to ensure that the safety of local residents, businesses and the teams working together on site are not compromised.
The fire service have been on site regularly but it has been agreed that they will scale back their operations to one visit per day as we have nearly finished removing the bulk of the waste.
In the event of any outbreak of a fire, the Fire Service will of course attend immediately.
Before and after drone footage from the site
What is happening with the legal proceedings?
Kirklees Council has a current injunction claim ongoing at Huddersfield County Court, this is listed for a final hearing on 31 March 2017. Further proceedings against those responsible for the accumulation of waste on the site are being investigated. Proceedings to recover the costs involved in the clearance are also being investigated.
Public Health information
Although we are nearing the end of this incident, we would still like to remind you of the public health advice:
General health advice
Where smouldering material is burning, smoke may be an issue. Any smoke can be an irritant and, in areas which are affected by smoke, you should stay indoors as much as possible and keep doors and windows closed. You should then ventilate properties when the wind changes direction. If you need to be outdoors, avoid areas affected by smoke or ash if possible or limit the amount of time you spend in such areas.
Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum production and chest pain. If any such symptoms occur as a result of being exposed to smoke, people should contact their General Practitioner (GP) for medical advice, or phone NHS 111.
It is also worth noting that the human nose is very sensitive to odours, and many substances that seem odorous are usually present at low levels and will not have a direct harmful effect.
Odours can however cause annoyance and can lead to stress and anxiety. Some people may experience symptoms such as nausea, headaches or dizziness as a reaction to odour, even when the substances that cause those smells are themselves not harmful to health.
Additional advice for people with existing health conditions
Smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma. People who suffer asthma should make sure they always carry their inhaler while the fire flare-ups continue or when weather conditions lead to renewed exposure.
Anyone with an existing health condition such as asthma might need to use their medicines more frequently, but should not use them more than prescribed and should contact their GP or phone NHS 111 if they think this would be the case.
Useful contact numbers:
Environment Agency: (03708) 506506. To report pollution incidents, please call 0800 807060
For health advice please dial 111 or contact your GP
Kirklees Council: (01484) 221000 and ask for the Environmental Health team or email email@example.com
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service: (01274) 682311
Police: In an emergency please dial 999; for non-emergencies dial 101