A WIGAN waste disposal company has allayed fears that part of its yard is an environmental concern after rats were sighted.
A number of rodents have been spotted in and around a mound of building materials on the site of Bithell’s Waste Disposal on Chapel Lane, Wigan.
But company bosses told the Evening Post that the rats could have come from the nearby Leeds-Liverpool canal and that their site was checked regularly by environment officers.
Managing director Louise Bithell said: “In the waste management industry the risk of pests such as flies, birds and rats is a constant challenge. As with all areas of our business, we manage this risk on a daily basis with a constant programme of both presentation measures and reactive, humane control.
“As a family run business we strive to do our utmost for our customers and our employees. We will seek advice and take on board all measures to prevent our operation causing offence to others.”
A local worker who wished to remain anonymous said: “We have noticed the mound and although I have not seen rats myself, I know people who have and it has been at different times of the day. But obviously we don’t know if they’re coming from the canal or not.” The Environment Agency (EA) confirmed that Bithells holds a permit for a household, commercial and industrial waste transfer and recycling operation and is not permitted to accept food waste. The licence also covers inert and demolition waste as well as general waste such as packaging, paper, glass, clothes, textiles, wood, plastics and metals.
A spokesman for the EA said: “We received an initial report that rats had been seen at Bithells Waste Disposal Ltd’s site this week.
“The company holds an Environmental Permit with the Environment Agency which requires Bithells to take appropriate measures on their site to prevent pests, such as rats, causing pollution of the environment.
“We are currently investigating and are liaising with the company to make sure that those measures are in place and are effective”.
“We would ask the public to report information about this or any environmental incident to our 24 hour incident reporting hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”