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2020 / 2021 Edition

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UK's first fully netted landfill at Ugley

RMC have developed and installed the UK's first totally enclosed landfill netting system at their Ugley Landfill site in Essex.

The 19-acre site, which is expected to be operational until 2008, lies directly on the flight path to, and three miles from, Stansted Airport. The netting has been erected to eliminate the potential danger to aircraft posed by gulls flying over the site.

The tensioned netting canopy, which is supported by a series of 15m high pylons around the perimeter and several 30m high steel masts, has a 7m clearance above the highest tipping level and was wind tunnel tested at the design stage.

Made of 3mm polypropylene, the 85mm2 mesh is small enough to keep gulls out but allows smaller birds to get through. The netting covers an area of just over 1ha, which is large enough to receive about one year's waste before the canopy needs to be transferred to the next part of the site. Forming an essential part of RMC's planning consent, the canopy was insisted upon by the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure complete safety for aircraft flying overhead.

To date the project has proved very effective, and the CAA's fortnightly inspection has reported no problems. According to Chris Swedza, environmental manager with RMC, the canopy has also lessened the litter nuisance and enhanced the visual impact of the site.


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