Going that extra yard in Straiton clear-up
The new owner of Clippens Yards at Straiton has vowed to clean up the unsightly waste dumped there, and has already made good progress.
Midlothian Skip Hire took on the site behind the KFC restaurant earlier this year, just before Covid-19 hit Scotland, with former owner Nick Gibson struggling to shift the huge amount of waste dumped at one of Midlothian’s oldest industrial yards by previous tenants. This had led to fury from locals upset at the mess.
In October 2016, Penicuik man James Cunningham pleaded guilty to dumping controlled waste until 2011 at Clippens Yards. He was sentenced to a community payback order of 180 hours after a site investigation by SEPA found that waste was being deposited and kept there without the required permissions.
Midlothian Skip Hire worked with Mr Gibson and SEPA on a plan to remove the thousands of tonnes of waste before taking on the site in February.
Kevin Dalgetty, managing director, Midlothian Skip Hire, explained: “I had a look at the site a long time ago and put a proposal to Nick Gibson. But he was hesitant to sell the site because of the notice served on it by Midlothian Council because of the waste. So I had on-going conversations with Nick and our solicitors.
“We got SEPA and the council on board to make them happy for us to take on the site and have it back to the good condition it was in before the waste was dumped there.
“They were happy that we could clear up the site over a five year period. We can get it up to a usable standard and take away that eyesore for the public. Everybody seems to be happy with seeing it getting cleaned up.”
Midlothian Skip Hire started cleaning the site in May and has already moved 1200 tonnes of mixed waste to its waste transfer station in Loanhead. The waste will be processed to split the materials into the lower grades to recycle as much as possible to reduce the amount of landfill.
“We have started clearing up already and made a massive dent in it this year,” said Kevin.
“We have cleared more out than we thought we would have at this stage, so good progress so far. It’s very noticeable the difference we have made so far.
“We have probably cleared about 20-25 per cent of the site.
“It’s a case of trying to get the good recyclable waste out of what has been dumped on this site. We are trying to reduce the landfill. Because we are in the industry we can do it a lot cheaper than what the Gibsons were quoted.
“We have had at least 10 staff on that site over the last three months, working Monday to Friday every week.”
Once the site is cleared, Kevin hopes his company or someone else will make good use of it in the future.
He said: “We took it on to have further development on it. Once it’s clean we will either take it on ourselves or if a developer comes along they could use it for maybe retail.
“So it’s a future investment for our company. We own the site now.
“We have full responsibility to dispose the material and get it back to being a good site for future development.
“We can run the site alongside our business at nearby Eldin Industrial Estate.”