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Residents praise work to remove rat-infested Orpington rubbish pile

PUBLISHED: 12:11 09 January 2017

The Waste4fuel waste site in Orpington.

The Waste4fuel waste site in Orpington.

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The former Waste4Fuel site has blighted residents’ lives for years

Residents have praised work to remove the 20,000-tonne rubbish pile in Orpington, which was described by one local as like “living next to rotting corpses”.

Clearance of the former Waste4Fuel site began in November last year after Bromley Council brokered a deal between the Environment Agency and the site owners to secure the future ownership of the site, as well as to enable access for contractors Veolia.

The 40ft-high, rat-infested litter heap had plagued residents for years, causing regular fires and horrific smells.

Jan Watkins, 62, a grandmother-of-two who lives nearby, praised the work to clear the site.

She said: “They seem to be getting on with it. Visually it looks as if it’s half gone, the top half was narrower than the top half, visually it looks like they are making really good progress.

“They are doing a good job. Our biggest fear was that the smell would be really bad, the smells have been hardly noticeable. I was expecting the worst, they seem to have control of the fires, that was an anxiety going through my mind.

“I haven’t been plagued by rats as I feared.

“Things have improved considerably. They are doing a terrific job, I am really pleased with the contractors.”

She said local residents hoped that once the clearance work had been completed, the site could be turned into a visitor centre and car park providing access to the nearby Ruxley lakes.

Mrs Watkins said: “It’s a beautiful serene lake, it’s a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) site and it would be great to have access and local schools could visit as well.”

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