Falkirk street plagued with sawdust

Cars and properties in Falkirk's Ewing Drive have been covered in sawdust wafting in from a nearby timber yard. Picture: Michael Gillen
Cars and properties in Falkirk's Ewing Drive have been covered in sawdust wafting in from a nearby timber yard. Picture: Michael Gillen

Residents in a Falkirk street plagued by sawdust particles from a nearby timber yard say action must be taken to protect their properties.

Roads, cars and homes in Ewing Drive and Ewing Place, just off Grahams Road, are regularly covered in sawdust which is being pulped at Apex Timber Recycling and streaming into nearby streets.

Sawdust was streaming over the street from the yard last Friday. Picture: Michael Gillen

Sawdust was streaming over the street from the yard last Friday. Picture: Michael Gillen

Numerous complaints have been submitted to authorities, but it still keeps happening, despite warnings to the company from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Why aren’t authorities protecting us from this.

“Everything is covered in sawdust. You can’t wash your car because it will just be covered again within an hour and it’s worse when there is a wind. And who knows what it is doing to our health.”

The company, which has been recycling wood for the past 18 months, has admitted it has failed to protect residents and is assuring them the problem will hopefully be solved within the next week.

A resident scrapes the sawdust from his car

A resident scrapes the sawdust from his car

Director Grant Heeps said: “Over the last two months we’ve had a build-up of woodchip in the yard and the product has had too much dust. Once we work through this stockpile, hopefully over the next week or so, we will be changing to another type of plant machinery that will stop the dust.

“We lettered residents about this and offered to clean their cars and offered assurance that it will be fixed. We do apologise for the inconvenience this has caused so far.”

SEPA say an inspection was done on October 23 which found the yard had “inadequate dust suppression in place” to contain sawdust from the shredding process. Unit manager Catriona Walker said: “The operator was advised to take immediate steps to put suitable measures in place to suppress any further escape of sawdust. Despite this advice, a further breach was recorded last week.

“We are currently considering enforcement options which will limit shredding activity at the site unless the operator installs the measures needed to adequately suppress the sawdust.”

Ms Walker added: “While our officers will continue to monitor the site, we would encourage local residents to report any further complaints via our Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 so that any recurring issues are accurately recorded.”

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We have visited the site with SEPA earlier this week and the company has indicated that the material is being removed and will continue to do so to avoid future problems with dust etc.

“We will continue to monitor the site and revisit where necessary should there be a reoccurrence of the dust problem.”