So does it cost more to remediate a site than to simply dig out contamination and dispose of it to landfill? Well that depends upon the site and the contamination. Which is the ambiguous answer you were dreading rather than the straight yes or no you wanted but before you close your browser in disgust let me explain. Government policies such as increasing landfill tax costs (currently £86.10/tonne as of April 2017) are specifically intended to make disposal to landfill as unattractive as possible. Current guidance and best practice also encourages the minimisation of the volumes of material going to landfill. With increasingly inventive and refined use of various remediation techniques the sun is definitely setting on the era of big dig and dump projects. However it does all inevitably come down to cost and if the volume your removing is small and the site is close to the landfill then maybe it is the most economical option.
But before you decide there are a range of factors to consider so that you make an informed choice. Is there a remedial option which will achieve your aims, eliminate the risk and satisfy the regulator? Can this be achieved within the time frame of your project? Will it impact upon other site works or receptors?
If you dispose of material to landfill have you considered all of the associated costs; Will the material require pre-treatment? If it’s hazardous there will be time and costs associated with the relevant paperwork, communication with SEPA or the EA, H & S documentation and it’s implications to your method of work. Have you factored in the haulage costs? Will you be able to load contaminated soil onto vehicles as it’s being excavated or do you need to construct a stockpile area?
This isn’t to scare you into choosing one technique over another but the idea that it’s always simplest, quickest and cheapest just to dig contaminated soil out and send it away definitely isn’t true any more. In our experience it’s often cheaper to treat contamination in-situ or excavated but on-site simply because you’re not paying to move soil around the country. Even if it does have to leave site it may be possible to avoid landfill tax by sending it to a suitably licensed treatment centre instead.
If you want to compare the various options that would work for your site we can carry out an options appraisal for you and give you a costed range of viable possibilities. This will allow you to make an informed decision on how best to resolve your contamination problem and keep your costs down.
If you want to know more just give us a call on 0131 538 8456 or drop us an email.
Comments are always welcomed as well.
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