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Sunday, 10 March, 2002, 18:01 GMT
Landfill site closes after campaign
Landfill site
Campaigners have won the fight to close the landfill site
The controversial Nantygwyddon tip in the south Wales valleys has closed for good after more than a decade of campaigning by nearby residents.

The site which was used to process domestic and commercial waste caused concern among people who feared the health risks associated with living near to a tip.

Rhondda Cynon Taff council decided the site at Gelli should close from this weekend following a damning report commissioned by the Welsh Assembly.

Campaigners at Nantygwyddon site in the Rhondda
Last day: Campaigners see their target realised

But the local authority will need nearly 2m to meet the cost of providing a replacement method of waste disposal - and it is looking to the assembly for the cash.

Dumping of domestic rubbish at Nantygwyddon was suspended before Christmas, after the assembly report recommended its closure on environmental health grounds.

Last week councillors agreed to bring forward the closure, originally tabled for 18 months' time, also ending disposal of commercial, industrial waste, which had continued.

They are now asking the assembly to help foot the 1.8m bill required to wind down the facility earlier than planned.

Waste tip operators Amgen shut the gates for the last time on Sunday evening.

Mr Purchon's report in December said the site was too windy, too wet and too close to nearby residents in Gelli, who have campaigned long and hard for the removal of the tip.

Closure welcomed

Council leader Pauline Jarman said: "Local communities will be pleased to see the council taking action so closure takes place more quickly than planned."

Plaid Cymru's Jill Evans, a European Parliament member, also welcomed the decision of her party's local authority members - she earlier gave the European Parliament a petition with residents' views.

Pauline Jarman, RCT council leader
Pauline Jarman: 'Quick action'

Protestors in the area have been campaigning against the site for more than 10 years.

Their arguments were supported by the assembly report, which followed a year-long investigation.

Mr Purchon's report concluded: "It isn't often in my experience that household waste dumps are found on the tops of mountains.

"I was very surprised at how exposed the site was, and how difficult it would be to operate it without causing nuisance in the surrounding area."

The decision to halt household waste dumping at the tip took effect within hours of Mr Purchon's report being released.

Dumping was switched to the Trecatti facility at Dowlais near Merthyr Tydfil.

The council is now looking at other options for the long-term disposal of waste in the area, including the use of redundant coal tips.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Nick Palit
"On a wet Sunday in March, this tip has finally closed for good."
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