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About the site
Path Head is a landfill site, near Gateshead and is operated by Suez. It lies close to the villages of Stargate, Crookhill, Stella and Ryton. It is permitted to accept 600,000 tonnes a year of non-hazardous waste.
The site was operational from March 2007 to January 2017. Before this site was a landfill it was a working sand and gravel quarry.
Latest information: Updated on 15 September 2017
As previously communicated the landfill site at Path Head closed to waste acceptance earlier this year. A period of closing down the site and preparing it for the final engineering works then took place. This work involved removal of weighbridges, application of a clay layer across the uncapped areas and removal of vegetation on the large earth mound between the site and Crookhill. This mound is to be used for restoration soils. Much of this work was completed throughout February. Following this, in March, the remaining gas extraction wells were installed. In total twenty new wells were drilled and connected into the existing gas system. This work completed the gas extraction system on the site. The gas system continues to operate effectively with approximately 3000 cubic metres per hour of gas now collected at this site. This is a significant quantity for a relatively small landfill site.
Following the gas works further work was identified regarding the re-drilling of a leachate extraction well. Leachate extraction wells are used to house pumping equipment which removes the contaminated water from the lined base of the site. The leachate is pumped to storage tanks for removal off site by tanker. During the gas well installation works in March it was identified that a leachate well was showing signs of ‘leaning’. As these wells go all the way to the site base they become subject to pressure as the site settles. This pressure can cause wells to ‘lean’ and eventually collapse.
The well identified at Path Head remained functional however the site operator thought it worthwhile to redrill and replace the well at this stage rather than having to bring a drilling rig back onto the site to drill further holes in two years’ time. This work was undertaken through April.
Upon completion of this work the site was now ready for the installation of the engineered cap over the remaining uncapped areas. The engineered cap consists of layers of a compacted clay material, a welded plastic membrane and a geotextile drainage material. It is an approved design and consistent with the other capped areas of the site. This work commenced in May and has continued since. However this work can be impacted by the weather. For instance, it is difficult to compact clay appropriately in wet weather and it is difficult to lay the plastic layers in windy conditions.
This work has progressed well and is nearing completion. Photographs to illustrate the works in progress are included here.
As the works have progressed the potential for odour coming from the site has greatly reduced. Once the cap is fully installed these emissions should further reduce and become negligible.
Upon completion of the capping the final restoration works will then be undertaken. These works involve placement of top soil, installation of any aesthetic features required (eg. fencing, footpaths) and any seeding/planting works. These works are governed by the site’s planning permission.