Landfills are currently being phased out under the the Scottish Government Zero Waste Management Plan as they are viewed as an ‘old-fashioned solution’ to disposing of people rubbish.
Once the Cathkin Landfill is filled, the site – probably within two years – will be completely ‘capped’. This involves the site being lined and sealed, with wells installed to draw out gas and hopefully taking away most of the odour. The technique was likened to a drink with a lid and straw in it – with the straw drawing out gas.
Currently they are drawing off a whopping 400,000 cubic metres of gas per hour from the site – this at a time when it has not even been completely filled.
Burnside Community Council member Lucille MacNab asked how many years the smell from buried rubbish would linger once the site has been filled.
Rolf Matthews, waste disposal manager, said: “There will be very little smell. I‘m not going to stand up here and say there will be no smell. The site will be capped and the gas will be managed until the site is stabilised physically, chemically and biologically.” However, Mr Matthews added that this could take up to 60 years.
Another issue that has been of major concern to residents is the amount of flies that the landfill has attracted.
Annette Gaw, who lives on Cathkin Bypass, said that initially there were huge amounts of the bugs and although their numbers had reduced, they were still a real problem.
The representatives said: “There were fly issues at the site a number of years ago but we do have a monitoring on site and at the transfer station where waste is taken to and from Cathkin Landfill site. We spray the waste at the transfer station and, if necessary, we spray it at the site.”
Glasgow City Council claim that it is taking longer to infill the site than previously anticipated. There is still one “cell” within the landfill to develop and fill. Once in-filling is complete, probably by August, 2016, there will be a further two years of site restoration and landfilling works.
One of the council’s representatives told the meeting: “This is what we believe is the shortest (time) frame to this. Our aim is to close the Cathkin Landfill site down and take things forward as we have other outlets for waste.”
Other representatives of the council and the firm at the meeting, which took place last Wednesday (September 5), insisted that compared to other strategies for bringing operations at the landfill to a close, this was quickest.
They said Glasgow City Council produced enough waste to fill the site.