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From landfill to heath land habitat

It is the end of an era at Warmwell Landfill site in Dorset, with the last load tipped and the transformation to a heath land habitat underway.

Poignantly, the last load was tipped at the Viridor-owned site by driver Tony Singleton, the man who got the ball rolling by placing the very first load at the complex nearly ten years ago.

The area has been used for various forms of waste disposal since the 1950’s and played a crucial role in Britain’s war effort before contributing essential minerals and waste management services for businesses and householders across the country for many decades.

With the landfill now complete, it will be capped with clay and topsoil’s and restored to lowland heath, a scarce and dwindling natural habitat that is extremely important for some of Dorset’s rarest species including Sand Lizard, Smooth Snake and Dartford Warbler.

Warmwell unit manager Rob Hawkins said: “I’d like to thank and congratulate the team here at Warmwell Landfill for their hard work and professionalism over the life-time of the site.

Even at the gritty end of the business, it’s possible to have some good times and we’ve had plenty.”

Viridor will now move its Dorset operations from the site that won the Peel Prize Cup for best run waste management facility in 2003 to its Tatchells Landfill and the soon-to be opened Trigon Landfill near Wareham.

Viridor has shown at its other sites that the complex creation of such heath land can pay great conservation dividends for the long-term benefit of the local environment. The final restoration will begin this spring and will be completed by autumn.

Hawkins added: “Through the funding of many local projects, the service we’ve provided, and the heath land restoration scheme, we can be proud that we’ve put something back into the area for the benefit of generations to come.”

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