Landfills as a method of waste management, despite being the oldest method of disposal, has courted controversy for many years. In an ideal world from an environmental perspective, landfill sites would be abolished and other means of waste management would be employed heavily, such as recycling. Steps have been taken in UK and the EU in general to reduce the number of tonnes of waste we send to landfill every year. For example, there is a landfill tax in place in our country, which is imposed upon biodegradable waste that is sent to landfill. In this blogger’s humble opinion, the only winner with landfills are the companies that own and operate them. It is a cost-efficient way, sure. But as a long-term solution it is unfeasible. Also there is, no doubt, a crisis with waste management only exacerbated by the growing population.
However, an indication that EU Directives relating to landfill are having a positive effect is that a site or two are potentially ceasing operations. One is a former gravel quarry in Oxfordshire; according to The Herald, whose article on this you can read here, it could be transformed into a haven for wildlife. With the EU demanding greener solutions and more and more waste now taken to energy recovery facilities where it is transformed into electricity, this previous eyesore could be a home for water voles, otters, ducks, birds and a wide range of plants and flowers in the near future.
This is great news for environmentalists all over the country; I for one am very happy to read about this development. Not only this, the operators of the site now plan to fill up the quarry with non-hazardous waster, such as rubble and soils. Couple this with the addition of landscaping and horticulture for footpaths and planting schemes, then you have all the ingredients of a country park.The site owners, FCC Environment, have submitted an application to update its permissions to restore the site.
This idea isn’t so rare as you may think; Jane Bowley, a council project officer manages two other nature reserves which were landfill sites previously. She firmly believes it can work in this instance as well; this place could potentially be developed into a park where people can enjoy walking and birdwatching.
I am only a Marketing Administrator, so this is just conjecture, but the idea of a blank canvas for landscaping like this is something that really get creativity flowing! The same goes for the horticultural side of this potential project. Let’s hope approval is given to FCC Environment to restore the site. You may even see it in the news, especially if you live in the local area, so keep an eye out!
This article was written by Lewis