A Senedd Member has called for a public inquiry into concerns land near Gelligaer has been contaminated with shredded plastic.
It comes after residents living near a recycling centre and quarry in Gelligaer expressed their anger.
Waste management company, Bryn Group, which owns the site, has apologised after compost “contaminated with plastic to an unacceptable level” was used on a section of fields at the recycling site, known as the bund.
The issue was raised in the Senedd on Wednesday, December 16 by Delyth Jewell, the Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for South Wales East.
In a question to Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths MS, Ms Jewell said the Bryn Group has “contaminated land by putting shredded plastic through the soil”.
“I, myself, have walked the bund for two hours and can testify to how extensive and devastating the contamination is,” Ms Jewell said.
“In response to my most recent letter, Minister, you’ve told me that you’ll be asking NRW (Natural Resources Wales) to look into this matter again, but you’ve said that you don’t see the need for an independent investigation.
“Could I please plead with you, Minister, to reconsider that decision, to keep the door open to conducting your own investigation of the contamination before all the evidence is covered up deep in the soil as a problem for future generations to deal with?”
Ms Griffiths said she takes the issue “very seriously”.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Jewell said: “I really do think that we’ve reached the stage where a public inquiry is needed to find out the extent of any contamination that may have occurred at the site.
“It could have implications for many years to come, and the residents of Gelligaer and other nearby villages deserve action on a matter that’s causing so many of them grave concern.”
Caerphilly Senedd Member Hefin David has had several meetings with residents and NRW over this issue.
The Labour MS said: “I have been working with NRW and residents on this and investigations are still ongoing. I also have further meetings planned for the new year and will continue to liaise with all parties to ensure dealing with this continues to be a priority.”
Alun Price, co-owner and director of Bryn Group, said that in early September, “a poor-quality consignment of compost produced on site was applied to a 600 sq metre area of the bund”.
“That consignment was contaminated with plastic to an unacceptable level, and should not have been used,” Mr Price said.
“That was an isolated incident, for which we have apologised unreservedly.”
Mr Price said the compost which was “contaminated with plastic” has been removed from the surface of the bund.
Further removal and remediation of the affected area will take place once the weather improves and vehicles can get onto the site, he said.
“We are conducting a thorough review to see how this incident occurred, and our findings will inform any necessary additional measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he added.
As the review takes place, the company is also carrying out additional checks before compost is signed off for use.
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