The Department of Infrastructure is applying for planning permission (21/01000/B) to use a tip at the Point of Ayre for another decade.
Original approval for the landfill operations at the site known as Wright’s Pit North stipulated that the depositing of waste should cease by the end of 2019, with an additional year for site restoration works to finish by the end of 2020.
Former infrastructure minister Tim Baker had previously stated that there were no plans to continue using it.
However, the DoI later stated that ’[waste] inputs to the site have been lower than predicted and void space remains unfilled’.
The new application is to extend landfill operations until December 31 2030, plus an additional year to enable the restoration programme to be completed.
Work is also underway on a planning application for a replacement site for once Wright’s Pit North is filled. The pit currently handles the disposal of problematic waste, including material such as asbestos and plasterboard that cannot be accepted at the Energy from Waste Plant.
The same waste would be put into the site under the extension plans, at a rate of 5,000 tonnes per annum.
The neighbouring site, Wright’s Pit East, has been the centre of concerns around coastal erosion.
Charles Guard, a director who has filmed and monitored the area extensively, has previously said that there was a risk of the contents of the eastern pit ending up in the sea if something was not done about it. The DoI said that the extension for Wright’s Pit North is needed ’to continue to provide a facility for construction and demolition wastes for the island’.
A statement said: ’The latest application to extend operations at Wright’s Pit North is designed to ensure a facility for the disposal of non-hazardous waste remains available until 2030 and makes best use of existing resources.
’Officers are continuing to explore options for the development of a replacement facility which will be ready to accept waste ahead of the closure of Wright’s Pit North.’
Asked about the long-term environmental issues of retaining the site, earth scientist Dr Dave Quirk said that while clean building waste does not generally pose a problem, ’the transport of 5000 tonnes of waste to the furthest corner of the island with diesel-powered trucks obviously has an environmental impact’.