Kingsbury man urges council to tackle waste burning near schools
PUBLISHED: 17:31 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:31 03 February 2017
A Kingsbury father smelling toxic fumes near schools in the area has urged the council to take action on “illegal waste burning.”
Michael Le Page who lives in Roe Green Village followed his nose to a small depot hidden within Roe Green Park on Friday where he saw a man burning waste in a skip.
He said: “I smelt a foul smell like burning plastic before I even reached it, and once I got there I could see lots of smoke even though it was a pretty windy day.
“You can see Kingsbury High School. A bit to the east is Roe Green Infants and Junior schools, which my son attends. To the south is a nursery. So most ways the wind blows children are going to be breathing in that smoke.
“Fires like this produce a huge amount of pollution, and we now know that children are really vulnerable to air pollution. It can not only stunt lung development, it also affects the brain and immune system. And of course it makes conditions like asthma far worse. There’d be outrage if teachers lit a cigarette in class - the smoke from that fire was probably far worse than that.”
Mr Page, who works for the New Scientist magazine, said he believed burning commercial waste is banned by the clean air act and contacted the council on social media site twitter.
He added: “By the look of that skip it’s often used to burn waste and there were painted pallets there. Painted wood should never be burned because the wood may be treated with chemicals or contaminated with chemicals during use, and release toxins when burned.
“And of course even ordinary wood bonfires produce lots of harmful pollutants, and are not what you want near schools full of kids.”
A council spokeswoman said the land, which belongs to Brent Council, is leased to T&A Builders, who “have regular small bonfires to dispose of non-toxic waste such as wood and paper” and have staff monitoring the park.
She added: “The building company in question proactively reported an incident to us involving a person complaining loudly to them about the smoke and that they explained it was non-toxic but the member of the public refused to accept this.”