For the second consecutive year, Veolia Environmental Services’ Pitsea landfill site has received a top honour in an Essex-wide scheme to recognise and reward good practice at landfill sites and quarries in the county.
The 680 acre site was one of only 5 out of 26 visited which gained the coveted Gold Award in the County Council’s Mineral Working and Active Landfill Environmental Award Scheme.
County Council assessors reviewed each site for a range of criteria, including planning compliance, general appearance, environmental controls, community relationships and biodiversity initiatives.
The assessors were particularly impressed by the steps Veolia takes to minimise the impacts of its environmental and local operations, how the company interacts with its neighbours and partners like the RSPB and Wat Tyler Country Park and its strong commitment to biodiversity.
Shelley Bailey from Essex County Council said, “The site is well managed and there are several initiatives in place which go beyond the requirements of the existing planning permissions. The assessment visit showed that the operators have put a significant amount of time and effort into managing the site for biodiversity, including developing a long term partnership with the RSPB”.
Shaun Taylor, the long serving site manager who has worked at Pitsea for 15 years collected his second gold award on behalf of Veolia. Shaun said, “I am very proud of how our day to day site operations are always sympathetic towards our short, medium and long term biodiversity and habitat creation objectives. Of particular interest are the badger hide, our reptile translocation programme and the newt hibernacula (winter houses).
“This award is a fitting tribute to our dedicated site team who consider environmental issues before turning any stone”.
The restored landfill will be managed by the RSPB for nature conservation and Veolia has granted the birding charity a long term lease at a peppercorn rent to develop a new nature reserve at Bowers Marsh, on the northern edge of the landfill.