The Chapel Farm landfill site, near Blunsdon north of Swindon, has reached the end of its operational life and was closed on Friday, 10 October.
The site has been managed by Hills Waste Solutions since 1997 under a lease agreement with Swindon Borough Council.
No further waste for disposal in landfill is being accepted at Chapel Farm, although Hills will continue to operate its mechanical skip sorting operation at the site. That operation, which services the Swindon and surrounding area, diverts waste from landfill by recycling around 80 per cent of material placed in skip containers.
Work will now begin on the capping and restoration of the landfill area in accordance with the Environmental permit. This work is weather dependant, but is expected to take up to 3 months. Hills will remain responsible for the environmental management of the site, and the aftercare phase of the site will continue to be regulated by the Environment Agency. The aftercare phase will only cease once the Environment Agency is satisfied that environmental management of the site is no longer required. This is estimated to be in around 60 years’ time.
Whilst most of the site will be returned to agricultural pastures for grazing, work has already started on restoring a substantial section of the site in such a way to be attractive to bees and other small wildlife. Hills is also in discussion with a local beekeeping association and a cider and perry company who have both expressed an interest in the future use of sections of the restored site. The new habitats being created will ultimately become part of a wildlife corridor being created across North Swindon in partnership with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. This will create a positive long term improvement for the area.
Hills will continue to hold regular liaison committee meetings with elected representatives of local residents to keep them informed on the restoration progress at the site. The minutes of these meetings are published on the website http://www.hills-group.co.uk/consult/liaison.html