Contaminated Waste

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sandbach99 | 12:11 Wed 17th May 2006 | Science
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I live near a site which is being investigated at the moment, yesterday I was told that a university disposed of waste on this site some 40 years ago.
Will the university still have any records as to what they were researching or disposing of after all this time and who at the university should I contact?.

Also I was told that this site was 1 of 2 in the country licensed to take a certain type of waste otherwise it had to be dumped at sea, this ties in with other information I have, but I can't find out what this waste was, does anybody know? again this was 40years ago. Thanks for any information.


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Educational bodies such as universities are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, so I would suggest you make an application under the Act. You should be able to find their FOI contact email on their site. Applications must be in writing and it will greatly assist you if you can be a specific as possible about the nature of the information you are seeking. It is free to apply. The body may apply certain charges if the work goes above a certain limit.

They are legally obliged to respond within 20 working days. They may be able to apply certain exemptions to the information you're seeking - for example, would it cause health and safety issues?

Since the information you are seeking is environmental, it actually falls as a request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (but not everyone is aware of their responsibilities under these regs, so best cite FOI first) since these generally give more rights to the information reqester.

More info here:

Additionally, you could additoinally make the same request of your local council, since they will hold details of contaminated sites or suspected contaminated sites.

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Thanks for the above answer I hadn't thought of the freedom of information act, the local council have no idea what is there!, they are worse than useless at solving this problem.

Although the site was legal the owner didn't keep proper records and allowed anything to be dumped, there was a terrible smell and a local factory got the site closed as it was believed to be a danger to the employees health, the site caught fire and was eventually turned into a golf course, wonderful, except all the rubbish ie sealed steel drums, experimental animal carcases and many other things, were buried under the golf course in something life a 30 foot deep valley, this valley has a culvert running through it. Tests on the water and air show high levels of very nasty substances which the residents believe cause a danger to health.
Last night the ex=manager of the factory told me a university sent waste to this site, he says he asked what it was and was told 'you wouldn't want to know what this is' .

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