End of an era as last lorry is emptied at landfill site

Entrance to Parkwood landfill site, Parkwood Road, Sheffield.
Entrance to Parkwood landfill site, Parkwood Road, Sheffield.
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The last-ever load of waste has been emptied at the Parkwood landfill site in Shirecliffe.

Skip firm Arthurs Waste Management transported the final lorry-load of non-recyclable commercial waste there, before the site was partially closed.

The last ever load of waste is off-loaded at Parkwood landfill site

The last ever load of waste is off-loaded at Parkwood landfill site

It will no longer accept active waste – although the process of filling the large space left with inert material such as rubble and earth will now begin, with the aim of turning the land into a public green space.

Viridor, which has run the facility since 2002, said it has closed earlier than expected because people are recyling more, landfill tax is rising, and the continued operation is no longer viable due to increasing costs.

James Hartley, director of Arthurs Waste Management based in Neepsend, said: “The site is such a significant part of Sheffield - everything used to go there - and now it has gone.

“It is a shame. It’s been a difficult one as my company was built around that place.”

Sheffield has one of the lowest landfill rates in Europe - with just one per cent of domestic waste treated through landfill in January, according to figures.

Much of the city’s waste is taken instead to the energy recovery facility on Bernard Road, where rubbish is used to power the district heating network and produce renewable electricity.

Now any business waste that would have gone to Parkwood will be sent to Viridor’s landfill site near Chesterfield, or to the Runcorn energy recovery facility.

Fears have been raised the change will cause an increase in disposal costs as the waste has to travel further.

But Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment at Sheffield Council, said: “The closure of the Parkwood landfill site to new waste will have virtually no impact on the council – very little effect on how we handle our waste.

“Many councils spend millions of pounds on sending waste to landfill, which also causes significant environmental problems.

“It’s great Sheffield has such a strong track-record in this area and shows we are a leading green city.”

Recyclable waste from businesses across Sheffield and South Yorkshire will now be treated at Viridor’s facility at Salmon Pastures in Attercliffe.

Full site closure will take place by 2018 with restoration complete by 2020.