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Recycler loses appeal over poor air quality

A construction and demolition waste recycler will have to move its operations indoors after an appeal against the Environment Agency (EA) was rejected.

The environmental permit for the Newham recycling plant in London (pictured), which is operated by McGee Group, required all wastes to be stored and treated within a fully enclosed building by 2017.

The condition was imposed by the EA in 2014 after air quality monitoring revealed very high levels of particulate pollution in the area, but McGee appealed against the decision.

A planning inspector said he recognised the uncertain future of the site due to the proposed Silvertown Thames Crossing Project and the economic impact on the business, but he had to safeguard human health and preventing pollution .

As a result, operations would have to be enclosed to prevent further airborne releases.

EA officer Chris Lowe said: “We are pleased to hear of the planning inspector’s decision and the recognition that it is indeed appropriate for us to require the enclosure of waste operations which have the potential to contribute to poor air quality.

“Operators of similar waste management sites should take all steps to ensure their activities do not cause air pollution.

“We maintain our position that full enclosure is best practice. Any applicants for new waste management sites should be prepared to fully enclose their operations. We will be targeting existing, poorly performing sites to ask them to enclose their current operations.”

McGee Group has been contacted for comment.

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