Toxic Waste at Freshford Mill

 Letter from a Former Employee at Peradins

I was not aware of Peradin deliberately burying waste while I was there, and being in the engineering and maintenance department I would have known about it going on.  Most of the waste oils etc were stored in the upper compound (near the road left of entrance) and recovered by disposal &recovery companies, or other items were taken to the unit in Trowbridge.

However I do remember seeing oil slicks bubbling up in the river, but this was not surprising due to the amount of hydraulic oil that used to leak out of the moulding presses into the ground.

The ground in the lower right-hand part of the factory area must be full of oil, unless it has drained away by now.

However with the factory moving there from Bath during the end of WW2 there is 40 years + of ground contamination to get rid of.

There were plenty of what we term toxic materials today, like raw rubber, oils, paints, carbon black etc, but back in the 70s these were not seen as toxic or dangerous.

Trichloroethylene and Cyanide were the materials we classed as toxic that were being used on site at the time. What happened after I left, I do not know, but I cannot think of a suitable area where they could have dumped waste within the site.

 If it was not closed off I would like to have a look around, but the buildings look unsafe so best stay out. It may be the fact that the factory just leaked the stuff in the ground over the years and the rumour about the toxic burial has grown from there. Either way the ground is contaminated.

 I am amazed that anybody would think of building houses here unless they were on stilts. I remember several floods, and in particular two big floods at the factory between 76 and 79. Both of these came up to just short of the toilet blocks, which is approx half way up the property toward the entrance gates.

I lived in Bath and twice had to go home via Bradford-on-Avon because the bridge outside the pub was impassable. I presume this still happens today.

Freshford Mill: Contamination? Bury It! No, See Below [this material has been retained for historical reference]

The contamination, rubber and other products, in the former car park that has been mentioned to YPres Rose a few years ago has been found. Freshford Mill is located within the Freshford and Sharpstone Conservation Area and within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an area of Special Scientific Interest. What should happen with the waste that is shown below is surely remove it and take it to a place where it can be properly and safely disposed of.

 What is happening is that the contractors are taking the waste to another location on site which is close to the river and burying it there.  (2nd September 2008) On a visit today (9th September 2008) it would appear that the toxic waste is just being stockpiled awaiting collection.

Huge pile of rubber and other contamination at Freshford Mill

The huge pile of rubber and other evil smelling waste


loading contaminated waste at Freshford Mill

Tipper truck being loaded with waste

re-burying contaminated rubber waste at Freshford Mill

Tipper delivering waste to be re-buried close to the river Frome on the same site

Nature Reserve will be Contaminated?

I understand that the place where the contaminated material is being buried is the place that is designated as a nature reserve. But whether that is the case or not this material if allowed to remain buried will leach into the river Frome even more so than in its present location.  I am glad to note (January 09) that the toxic waste is now covered with tarpaulins which will prevent contaminated rainwater from being leached back into the ground.

Update: Waste is being Stockpiled Not Buried -That's a Relief!

Apparently, we were alarmed for no good reason as the waste is being stockpiled pending its safe removal. to quote from a company spokesman:

 "The timing of waste removal is not a simple matter of dig and collect, it requires agreement from various regulatory bodies hence the stockpiling until these procedures are complete."

So it appears that any contamination will be in the short term. Of course if the same regulatory bodies had done their job properly - the toxic waste wouldn't be there anyway! The third photograph clearly shows (notwithstanding the fence and railings) that the ground is level. As the ground is level then the tipper must be arriving with its first load of waste to be stockpiled. Not true, I had witnessed the tipper going backwards and forwards several times while I was observing the works. Therefore either there was a hole to put the waste into or a hole had been made. This area is a level area with the car park, with no hole that I recall that could be filled. Therefore, if my observation (about there being no existing hole) is true then waste was being buried, even though it is not now.


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