Measures to halt pollution at old Sheffield landfill sites will cost over Â£500,000
More than half a million pounds is to be spent on measures to stop harmful waste leaking from two former landfill sites in Sheffield.
The city council is taking action at the old Parkwood Springs and Beighton tips, which are both closed and capped off.
At Beighton, a system will be upgraded to halt a hazardous liquid called leachate from seeping out and polluting the Linleybank Meadows nature reserve, created 10 years ago after the refuse site shut. Leachate is normally a mix of rainwater and chemicals.
Meanwhile, at Parkwood, equipment is to be installed to stop waste gasses - primarily methane and carbon dioxide, both linked to climate change - being released into the atmosphere.
Neill Schofield, chairman of the Friends of Parkwood Springs, said landfill sites 'do have risks attached'.
"I think none of the landfill sites would be given planning permission today," he said. "You would not imagine having something like that so close to the city centre now."
The group is 'in close touch' with the council, he added.
"Closed landfill sites need to be managed and we're glad to hear they are being managed - it's what needs to be done."
The council aims to turn the area into a 'country park', linked to a plan to redevelop the derelict Ski Village as part of a new Â£22.5 million sports centre. The scheme is 'all moving forward, gradually, in the right direction', Mr Schofield said.
Leisure firm Extreme is working on proposals to revive the Ski Village. "We'll be interested to see the plans. Extreme are not concerned with the whole area, but the idea of the country park is the whole area from Rutland Road up to Herries Road."
Lisa Firth, head of parks and countryside at Sheffield Council, said: “Parkwood Springs and Beighton are both closed landfill sites but parts are accessible to the public and used by dog walkers, cyclists and ramblers.
“Later this year, we are installing a new landfill gas management system at Parkwood and upgrading the leachate system at Beighton. This will further improve the environment there, further improve safety and help with wider regeneration in the area."
Ms Firth said she expected the measures 'will be welcomed'. "These works will cost more than Â£500,000 but will enable the council to manage these sites in a much more sustainable and cleaner manner. We are pleased to be beginning work on these sites and anticipate they will remain open to the public while work is ongoing.”
Refuse tips routinely produce waste gasses and leachate, she emphasised. "Beighton and Parkwood Springs are no different to any other landfill in this respect."