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Frequently Asked Questions

Timoole Remediation 

 

What are we doing?

The works involve the remediation of an unauthorised landfill site at Timoole, Rathfeigh, Co. Meath. This project will involve excavating the waste material and impacted material below the waste and removal to an Knockharley landfill. The void will then be replaced with clean material and graded to match existing contours.

 

Why are we doing this?

Landfills produce methane gas and leachate as the waste material degrades, typically it takes 30 to 50 years for the material to become inert. Removing the waste will prevent environmental pollution.

 

Who is doing the works?

Priority Construction Limited will undertake the remediation works, they have extensive experience working on landfill projects, both landfill construction and remediation of unauthorised sites, and have the expertise and resources to undertake the project. They were procured in line with national and European procurement rules.

 

How is it funded?

The Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment are providing €6,000,000 to complete the project; this money will come from the Environment Fund.

 

Why has this project taken so long to remediate?

This site has been subjected to 2 High Court legal proceedings which have impacted greatly on the  project. These issues are almost closed off and we can progress remediation stage.

 

Is this site still under investigation by authorities?

There were numerous agencies involved in the investigation and the site was investigated by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI). This case is currently dormant but any new evidence will be retained and reported to the NBCI for further consideration and possible prosecution.

 

What type of waste was found at the site?

A series of site investigations have been carried out to assess the waste that will be removed as part of the remediation of the unauthorised landfill at Timoole, Rathfeigh, Co. Meath.  The results of these surveys have categorised the waste at the site as: mixed organic & domestic waste; commercial waste; construction & demolition waste; and leachate.  These categories of waste are all non-toxic and the remediation process will see the waste removed to a licenced landfill for processing.

Other investigations at the site have indicated the presence of methane and carbon dioxide.  While both are non-toxic gases, the removal of the waste from the site will address the odour issues arising from the presence of these gases.

Further site investigations will be carried out to gather more information on the waste at the site, in advance of any remediation works commencing.

 

Supplementary note:

The most recent site investigation at the site in Timoole was carried out in October 2015.  A geophysical survey of the site was undertaken by specialist contractors on behalf of Meath County Council. 

The investigation consisted of Conductivity Mapping, 2D Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Seismic Refraction Profiling.

The objectives of the survey were to map the extent of the waste; to profile the thickness of the waste body and waste material type; and to map any possible leachate plumes outside of or below the waste body.

 

Could a barrier be placed around the waste and let it remain where it is?

A number of remediation options were explored. To provide a barrier around the waste would be an extremely difficult and costly operation and there would be no guarantee that the environmental risk would be removed. In addition, there would be a requirement to monitor the waste for a significant period of time. 

 

Has a lot of pollution already taken place?

There is no doubt the site is impacting negatively on the environment and removing the waste will remove this risk permanently. It is important to address the way pollution is taking place. This is not a sudden ‘shock’ loading pollution but a slow and steady pollution that could continue for an extended period of time (50 years+) so cumulatively would have a significant negative impact.

 

What are the challenges and constraints of the project?

This project presents a number of engineering challenges such as management of methane gas and leachate, protection of the stream running through the site, deep excavations and confined working area. The contractor will prepare method statement for all aspects of the works to ensure the works are undertaken safely, effectively and efficiently.

 

How long will it take?

It is estimated the works will be completed in 12-15 months.

 

When will works start?

It is estimated that works will commence at the end of October.

 

When will waste removal start?

The Contractor has a number of enabling works to carry our prior to the removal of any waste, these include site compound set-up, installation of interceptor drains, surveys, etc. It is anticipated these works will take 10 weeks to complete.

 

What hours will the contractor work?

The contractor will take advantages of daylight hours so will typically work 7am to 7pm in summer and 7.30am to 5pm in winter. There will be no works at weekends or public holidays unless absolutely necessary, any alternative working arrangements will be communicated to local stakeholders.

 

What can I expect during the works?

While this is a waste remediation project it is also a civil engineering construction project and locals can expect a some level of inconvenience but every effort will be made to reduce and mitigate against these (refer to below).

 

Will there be an odour?

Odour is created in the waste body as the organic material breaks down. In an engineered landfill this is reduced by the proper management of leachate and methane. In the Timoole landfill the odour is offensive, however, a number of mitigation measures will be deployed during the remediation including odour neutralising spray on the waste body and at the perimeter, keeping the working waste face to a minimum, covering the working face during out of office hours and removing the trucks immediately after filling.

 

Will it be noisy?

The noise levels will be typical of any construction site including the sound of heavy machinery; H&S reverse warning bleepers and traffic noise from trucks leaving and entering the site. A small portion of the works will involve driving sheet piles along the edge of the waste body, this sound will be a repetitive hammering sound. A certain amount of mitigation will be provided by the site fencing and construction noise will only occur during working hours. In relation to traffic noise all hauliers will be instructed to refrain from excessive revving and braking of HGVs.

 

What about traffic?

There will be considerable movement of HGV traffic in and out of the site as waste and leachates are removed and clean soil imported in. Management of these traffic movements will be a priority for the contractor and the HGVs must not exceed a 20kph speed limit. In order to reduce the inconvenience for school and work traffic in the morning HGVs may not use the cul-de-sac between the 9.00 and 9.30. Any breach of the rules and regulations to traffic will be strongly dealt with by the contractor. HGVs will not be permitted to go through Duleek village, all HGVs must go via the N2.

 

Will the road network be damaged during the works?

It is anticipated there will be some level of degradation to the cul-de-sac. Minor repairs will take place during the contract, on completion of the works the road will be upgrading to the existing condition; this will be procured as a separate contract.

 

Will there be muck and waste on the road from the site?

No, road sweepers will be deployed to keep the roads clean and trucks will be covered leaving the site.

 

I have a concern about an element of the works, who do I call?

A dedicated phone number and email will be assigned to this project to allow site staff answer any queries promptly. The email address is timooleremediation@meathcoco.ie.  The dedicated phone number will be communicated to residents at the start of the project.

 

How will I receive information about the project?

There will be a number of options available to residents to receive up to date information on the project, these include weekly email shots, website information, helpline number and information leaflets. A webpage is currently under construction and this will provide up to date information on the project (www.timooleremediation.ie).

 

What about information I see on various Facebook and Twitter accounts?

Meath County Council has a specific, planned Public Relations & Communications Plan to ensure the current, correct information is received by the relevant stakeholders. Unsolicited information on Facebook or Twitter may have contradictory or misleading information. Please check www.timooleremediation.ie for the most up-to-date information.

 

What happens to the waste?

Waste will be removed to Knockharley engineered landfill.

 

Why can’t the waste go to the Waste to Energy facilities in Duleek and Poolbeg?

There are a number of reasons why the waste will go to Knockharley. Firstly, the waste will be exempt from the Landfill Levy, saving €75/tonne on the gate fee. Secondly, this waste has a high moisture content and would not be suitable for Waste to Energy. During the procurement process a end destination was not specified for the waste the only requirement was that it must go to an authorised site, this allowed the tenderers to explore all the disposal options and in the tender returns all tenderers proposed removing the waste to landfill.  

Has Knockharley capacity to take the waste?

Yes, a new waste cell is available to take the waste. The existing conditions under the licence remain the same.

 

What will the site look like at the end?

On completion of the works the site will be returned to a green field site.

 

Will there be any benefit to the community from this project?

Yes, the biggest benefit will be to the local environment, the risk of long term environmental pollution will be removed. The community in the vicinity of Knockharley and Timoole will benefit from the Community Fund already in place for Knockharley landfill.

 

Can I visit the site?

Visitors are most welcome to visit the site by pre-arrangement. As the site is a construction site all visitors will need to undertake a short health and safety induction and wear appropriate Personal Protection Clothing and Equipment (PPCE)