Tuesday 16 July 2024
15.1 C
Nottingham

Employees ‘lives at risk’ unless Nottingham’s Eastcroft waste depot is rebuilt for £420,000, says council

Nottingham City Council’s Eastcroft depot must be demolished and rebuilt because of “dangerous” working conditions.

It is estimated it will cost the city council £420,000, but there is a risk costs could increase amid the cost of living crisis.

The building is a waste transfer station, based at the Eastcroft depot, near the Cattle Market, alongside an incinerator where rubbish is turned into heat for 5,000 homes across the city.

Before being incinerated waste is sent to the transfer station, where it is treated and managed.

The council says if the transfer station building is not demolished and rebuilt, it would “significantly put the life of employees at risk, or cause life-threatening
injuries”.

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The spend was revealed in delegated decision documents which say: “This would evidently lead to the closure of this facility due to the high-risk nature of operating in such dangerous conditions.”

Documents also reference a legal case involving the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), where a wall collapse at a recycling plant in Birmingham killed five workers.

The council says despite the internal walls not being as high as the Hawkeswood Metal recycling facility involved in this incident, the case “highlights the known risks with such venerable infrastructure”.

The facility in Nottingham has saved the city council £188,000 on disposal costs for thousands of tonnes of waste in the past year, and so closing the site is not being considered.

Kevin Clarke (Ind), the leader of the Nottingham Independents, said the need to spend almost half a million pounds as the authority predicts a budget black hole of up to £15m amid soaring inflation, is unfortunate.

He said: “I really don’t see an alternative way for them to move on this occasion.

“The timing is out but given the risk of injury to employees what else could they really do?”

And Cllr Andrew Rule (Con), who represents Clifton West, added: “The controlling Labour Group have left themselves little choice  in having to commit this funding to ensure the safety of the city’s district heating infrastructure.

“Given the comments in the decision about the serious health and safety risks that could arise if the work isn’t completed, I would want some assurance that proper risk management has been conducted given it appears this decision has been seemingly left to the last minute when not completing the work doesn’t appear to be a credible option.”

Council documents add: “Approving the demolition and rebuild of this facility would allow the council to keep this location open, safely operate and allow separation of waste and process for recycling or recover that is of a higher treatment standard and a cost effective way of managing the council’s waste necessary to support key statutory services.”

Nottingham City Council say the new facility would be constructed in line with the old one, on the same footprint at Eastcroft, meaning it would be a like-for-like rebuild.

The proposals will not impact on any homes or businesses in Nottingham, including those on the district heating system.

When the facility is required to close for repair the council will reallocate waste to a different site to be processed.

 

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