Buried chemical waste hazard

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Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby jock78 » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:35 am

In this forum, the sites known as the 'soda waste', and the 'sugarolly mountain' have been referred to in the past, in living memory to my knowledge, many areas of Glasgow, particularly in the east end have been subject to dumping of industrial waste on any convenient quarry site or un-fenced vacant land.

Having played in such dumps in the 40s and later as a civil engineer surveyed such locations, even found clinical waste dumped in a hospital grounds in the past, I am little concerned that all such sites are fully recorded and taken account of in the City's planning UDP such that development on them is properly controlled.

Glasgow in the past had many chemical works, locomotive works, steelworks gasworks etc all producing quantities of toxic waste. I personally do not know of any location where there has been any known health impact of this on residential areas but am mindful that the the process of Environmentally Impact in this country started in America where a site known as 'Love Canal' which had been later filled with toxic waste caused serious illness to residents in a later new housing project on that site.

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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby moonbeam » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:49 pm

I recall power stations dumping fly ash. Yoker used to dump fly ash in various parts of the Drumchapel area in the 1940s and Singers dumped foundry waste at the Kilbowie Round a bout at the same time. Beardmores used to "rail" their foundry waste etc to Braidbar Quarries at Giffnock. Used to watch the wagons getting unloaded in the late 1940s early 1950s as I played football on a pitch beside it. Whites Chemical works at Rutherglen/Dalmarnock or Associated Chrome Chemicals dumped "stuff" in that area. A lot of chrome waste was "rumoured" to form the embankments to local junior football grounds in the area. At Haghill where NB Loco had a football pitch I seem to recall playing on the cinder pitches which seemed to have been formed from some sort of waste dump. Glasgow and the local area must be the location of loads these old "dumps" from long gone industries.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby dazza » Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:29 pm

jock78 wrote:even found clinical waste dumped in a hospital grounds in the past


This reminds me - although not chemical waste - on the periphery of the grounds of most large hospitals built before the early 1900s you can sometimes find a buried tip containing old bottles, crockery and instruments, etc. A lot of pre-NHS hospitals and asylums had monogrammed crockery, so it can be a nice find. I'm not sure why they buried this stuff, but I've heard some people speculate that it is somehow connected to the 1914 influenza pandemic. However, as autoclaves and sterilisation techniques were already in practice, this seems unlikely.

Anyway, this just seemed like as good a topic as any to mention this. Carry on.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby jock78 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:27 am

The hospital where I found clinical waste dumps in its grounds was Gougerburn, West Lothian in the 50s.

In truth, I have worked in many sites where little thought has been given to waste- at London Docklands in the 80s, the access junction to Canary wharf was built over hundreds of tonnes of old waste- even an artificial ski Slope was formed out of a huge mound of gas works waste.

Currently there is great thrust to develop 'Brownfield sites' in cities which must raise this issue again. t seems as if there is no specific planning guidance in this matter, and it is not in any developer's interest to raise it!

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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby moonbeam » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:34 pm

There was big problems when they redeveloped the Dawsholm Gasworks site. However there are other sites that were
old refuse dumps with pre 1900 hospital waste etc. A friend used to dig old bottles and broken crockery out of bit of waste ground near Lethamhill Golf Course. He thought it was a pre 1900 "dump". He got quite a few stone ware type jars.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby arthuy » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:34 pm

When I was in School in Rutherglen during the 90's there was a big thing about the chromium waster dumped by Lord Overtoun in the area.

Glencairn football club and surrounding area was effected, even during the M74 extension caused problems. The local park had waste and the ash pitch off of Dukes road was closed off on saftey grounds. I think it was at a green peace talk or similar that site in particular we were told would never be safe to build on so had to stay out. A few boys were always jumping the fence though. They did eventually build flats there , I am not sure what they did but looking at how high they are from road level there must hvd been some kind of isolation/encapsulation from the soil. Couldnt get me to live there for love or money.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby RapidAssistant » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:34 am

arthuy wrote:When I was in School in Rutherglen during the 90's there was a big thing about the chromium waster dumped by Lord Overtoun in the area.

Glencairn football club and surrounding area was effected, even during the M74 extension caused problems.


I remember the green brigade citing this as one of the many reasons not to build the M74 extension.....I always thought it was something of a circular argument, is it better to leave the pollution alone and carry on blighting the area, or actually deal with it and then build a motorway over the top of it which blights it anyway...
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby RDR » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:40 pm

jock78 wrote:The hospital where I found clinical waste dumps in its grounds was Gougerburn, West Lothian in the 50s.

In truth, I have worked in many sites where little thought has been given to waste- at London Docklands in the 80s, the access junction to Canary wharf was built over hundreds of tonnes of old waste- even an artificial ski Slope was formed out of a huge mound of gas works waste.

Currently there is great thrust to develop 'Brownfield sites' in cities which must raise this issue again. t seems as if there is no specific planning guidance in this matter, and it is not in any developer's interest to raise it!

John


I can't imagine there having been a lot of clinical waste at Gogarburn as it was a learning disabilities hospital, rather than an acute site.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby jock78 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:00 pm

Gogarburn,
that was in 1953.
I was an apprentice engineer surveying a new sewer route.
The waste was largely glass vials used for injections. There is a lot of open land and woodland so I suppose it was no big deal.

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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby dazza » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:14 pm

jock78 wrote:largely glass vials used for injections


Paraldehyde!
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby RDR » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:18 pm

dazza wrote:
jock78 wrote:largely glass vials used for injections


Paraldehyde!


Good call, never thought of that.
Brutal stuff to use but in the context of the time I'm guessing not unusual.
I used to like the smell of the stuff.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby Marko » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:31 am

I used to go for walks in the parts of the old Ravenscraig site which were (at the time) unbuilt on. We're talking maybe 5 or 6 years ago here. I'd noticed already that standing water beside the road tended to be rather off colour (it still is, to this day!), but on one of my walks, a day or two after prolonged rain, I stayed across a very muddy area. The mud, and the water around it, were black, and swirling with the rainbow sheen of oil and chemicals. This was supposedly after the decontamination works, mind.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby dazza » Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:06 am

I would love to have seen Ravenscraig between closure and demolition... Regardless of any chemical waste or associated nasties!
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby RDR » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:53 pm

dazza wrote:I would love to have seen Ravenscraig between closure and demolition... Regardless of any chemical waste or associated nasties!


It was a very dangerous place after closure. A relative of mine was killed there, not that he should have been in there in the first place, but it was a magnet for a lot of young lads in the Motherwell area, who were looking for scrap to sell.
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Re: Buried chemical waste hazard

Postby jock78 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:57 pm

I regularly worked there in the 1950s setting out new track alignments as an engineer with the then, British Railways.

I recall there was a 'hot metal road' on which hot ingots were transported from the ironworks to the steelworks. Due to their heat and weight, the sleepers were at 18 inch centres rather than the regular 30 inches.
The place was a bit like Dantie's Inferno!
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