1m tonnes of waste is buried at Mobuoy

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It’s official: the amount of illegal waste dumped at Mobuoy could exceed a million tonnes with tax evaded likely to be well over the £34.6m originally estimated by the former Welsh Environment Agency chief Chris Mills.

Earlier this month Ross Brown, a Green Party Councillor from Belfast, claimeded that the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) latest estimate for the size of the illegal dump at Campsie was up from 500,000 tonnes to 1million tonnes.

At the time the Department of the Environment (DoE) refused to be drawn on the revised estimate but it’s now been confirmed by the Minister Mark H. Durkan.

Responding to a query from Green MLA Steven Agnew, Mr Durkan said: “My Department has an ongoing project to assess the potential impacts of the illegally disposed waste at the Mobuoy waste sites on environmental receptors and to evaluate viable initial remediation options.

“The nature and extent of the illegal waste deposits has been further assessed as part of this work.

“On the basis of the new information reported through this project, we have obtained a revised estimate which indicates that the amount of infill could exceed 1 million M3 for the amount of illegal waste dumped at the site. This new figure is under review and is subject to confirmation on receipt of further project reports.”

Mr Durkan refused to revise his estimate for the amount of landfill tax avoided saying this would be the subject of an ongoing court case.

“Landfill tax avoidance needs to be updated in the light of revised estimates of waste illegal disposed.

“A Mobuoy prosecution case is ongoing in respect of this site and this information will form the basis of the evidence presented by my Department to the Court. To avoid any risk of prejudice to this case, it is not possible at this stage to provide any revised estimates of landfill tax avoided as a result of the illegal waste disposed at Mobuoy.”