Productive meeting on docks dust

The wood dust operation at Methil docks involving SITA UK and Forth Ports
The wood dust operation at Methil docks involving SITA UK and Forth Ports
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A meeting between the main parties in the controversial compacted wood fibre operation at Methil Docks has been described as “productive”.

Discussions took place earlier this month on ‘best practice’ between representatives from Fife Council’s environmental health and public protection department, recycling specialist SITA UK, and Forth Ports, which owns the docks.

They were talking about the operation involving the shipping in to Methil of loads of compressed wood fibre, which is unloaded on SITA’s behalf by Forth Ports and transported to RWE Inogy’s biomass plant in Markinch.

The aim of the scheme is to use wood as an alternative to fossil fuels – however, it has been occasionally blighted by wind carrying clouds of wood dust and depositing layers of it over neighbouring properties.

Fife Council declared it was a Statutory Nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, although SITA UK and Forth Ports said they had taken steps to change working practices in an affort to reduce the problems.

No specific details about the meeting were given, but Don Taylor, the Council’s lead officer for public protection, said: “We had a very productive meeting with SITA and Forth Ports. They are now exploring more options to help minimise the dust. There will be further discussions in the near future to take these forward.”

Forth Ports and SITA UK said jointly: “A positive meeting was held by Fife Council, SITA UK and Forth Ports.

“All three organisations have agreed to continue to explore opportunities and changes to the biomass handling operations at Methil, to further minimise the risk of dust escaping.”