GCS removes pyre ash in England's hoof and mouth disease cleanup
Jan 15, 2002 12:00 PM
Gulf Container Systems (GCS), Morecambe, Lancashire, England, is in the process of removing 130,000 tons of pyre ash from nearly 200 sites across England, Wales, and Scotland after farm animal carcasses were incinerated in the wake of a hoof and mouth disease epidemic, according to the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
“This has been a huge logistical exercise and a marvelous demonstration of a contractor willing and able to work in partnership with DEFRA under difficult circumstances to deliver a safe and effective result," said Mike Tas, DEFRA director of disposal operations. "High praise must go to the Gulf Container team for their commitment to service, flexibility of operation, and willingness to evolve new methods as situations demanded.
"To date over 6,000 loads have been moved by road and 1,400 loads by combined road and rail without incident or accident, a testimony to the inherent safety of container transport and the skills of British lorry drivers."
Since May 2001, GCS has removed more than 80,000 tons of contaminated soil and ash, utilizing a fleet of 60 vehicles, 400 ISO container units, and 11 separate collection teams involving over 300 personnel. Work is expected to continue on a few sites until Spring 2002.
DEFRA appointed GCS to develop a safe methodology for the recovery of the ash and its transportation in sealed ISO containers. GCS designed a loading and transport system utilizing various loading methods, including an integral polypropylene liner secured inside the container. The liner was designed for rear-entry or top-loading containers to accommodate varying site and ash conditions. Once filled, the liner could be sealed before being detached from the container and deposited directly in the landfill.
During the operation, biosecurity and high standards of containment were required for journeys by road and rail through infected and clean areas to the disposal sites. Access to a limited number of disposal sites across the UK meant that journeys of up to 200 miles by road or rail, without any risk of spreading disease, had to be undertaken, according to DEFRA.