Friday, 3 May 2013

Landfill, and weasel words

Aggregate Industries has a mothballed quarry for sale in Scotland. Local people have been worried it would be used for landfill. A spokesperson for AI said:
As for the question on potential landfill use, converting sites to landfill use is not Aggregate's policy as a company, and has never been considered.
Does AI take people for fools? Because you have to look no further than Hillhead - where AI has sold worked-out voids to Viridor, the waste management company. Or to the disposal last week of Caird Bardon - a company that operates the Peckfield Landfill Site near Leeds - a company that was 50% owned by AI. Or to Sands Farm Quarry, Calne, referred to in a post here last week, where Viridor is filling AI's earth scar. In fact, in the list of registered landfills, AI has 17 sites. Some may be used for inert waste - for example Blackhill and Rockbeare are listed - rather than household landfill, but a number of Viridor's 35 registered landfill sites were once AI quarries.

So AI may not be in the household landfill business, just as Viridor is not in the business of digging holes. But the two industries go hand-in-hand, and people understand that.

Statements such as the one above make people angry. Angry because, as a company with an invasive business model, AI finds it difficult to be straight and open with people. And to barge into a community with plans for open-cast mining needs trust, honesty, openness, fairness - not spin, deception and weasel words.

postscript: Asbestos quarry refusal to be challenged at appeal