Grundon hosts international environment team

Grundon Waste Management’s Wingmoor Farm site in Bishop’s Cleeve recently played host to a team of international visitors from IMPEL* and the Environmental Agency UK.

The tour, which included an overview by Grundon’s compliance manager Toni Robinson, was part of a training programme for environmental inspectors from as far afield as Italy, Sweden, Malta and Croatia.

The IMPEL team is currently working on a project to develop landfill inspection guidance to ensure compliance with the EU Landfill Directive, and the visit was designed to give members first-hand experience of an operational landfill site which handles both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

“It was a very interesting day,” said Toni. “The visitors were especially keen to see our waste acceptance procedures and understand how we monitor activity and carry out restoration work. It gave us an opportunity to demonstrate Grundon’s commitment to best practice and we were very pleased to be able to play a role in helping set the scene for future environmental guidelines.”

The group had already visited a number of countries to see how different operations are handled and, during the UK trip, spent time learning about the role of the EA and the implementation of the Landfill Directive in England and Wales.

Topics covered during the three-day programme included groundwater monitoring and trigger levels, emission measurement, hazardous waste assessment and waste acceptance.

After spending the first day in tutorials, the team visited Wingmoor to understand how the operations work on a practical basis, while also finding out more about the history of the site and hearing how Grundon works with the local community.

Grundon volunteered its Wingmoor operation, which is near Cheltenham, after the Environmental Services Association put out a plea to members to host the visitors during their stay.

Max Folkett from the Environment Agency said: “After an intensive day in the classroom, the trip to Wingmoor Farm allowed the Inspectors to put their learning in to context. They were all particularly interested in the risk-based approach we take to many aspects of landfill regulation in England.

“The group was able to observe the whole process, from cell construction through waste acceptance, restoration and aftercare. Their only wish was for more time on site to put their draft ‘checklist’ guidance for Inspectors to the test.

“Knowledge gained from the visit will help other European member states develop their regulatory approaches. IMPEL and the Environment Agency are very grateful to Grundon Waste Management for supporting this invaluable learning experience”.

*European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law

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