An investigation into possible plastic contamination at farmland near Gelligaer is underway.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) began the investigation on Monday, April 12, at the quarry bund operated by waste management company Bryn Group.
Concerns had been raised about possible plastic contamination in compost which had been used as topsoil.
NRW, alongside independent environmental consultants, will dig down into the quarry bund to collect soil samples, which will be sent to a lab to be analysed.
Aerial footage of the area will also be captured to help NRW determine the extent of the possible contamination.
NRW has said the excavation is expected to take three days to complete.
In a statement, the environmental body said: “NRW would like to remind local residents that this is a live investigation and ask them to please stay clear of the works and the operators on site.”
Jon Goldsworthy, Operations Manager at NRW, said: “This is a complex operation, and we appreciate the patience of those who’ve reported their concerns to us while we’ve made the necessary arrangements to allow this to happen.
“The operators of the site, the Bryn Group, are fully cooperating with our investigation.
“Once the soil samples have been analysed we expect to receive a report from the consultants, which will help us to inform our next course of action.”
A Bryn Group spokesperson said the company “has been working closely with colleagues at NRW” and has offered assistance with the investigation into “allegations that recycled plastic has been shredded and then used in the construction of our quarry screening bund and mixed with our PAS100 certified green-waste compost”.
“There is no truth in those allegations, and we look forward to being vindicated and putting this matter to rest following the excavation and sampling taking place on site today,” the spokesperson added.
Last year, the Bryn Group was handed an enforcement notice after land was contaminated with plastic.
In December, Plaid Cymru’s Delyth Jewell, candidate for Caerphilly in the upcoming Senedd Elections, called for a public inquiry into plastic contamination in the area.
Labour’s Hefin David, Senedd Member and candidate for Caerphilly, has held several meetings with NRW and residents about the issue and the investigation was set up following these.
He said: “This investigation has come about directly from pressure from residents.”
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