Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Safety reminder following illegal dumping of explosives

Safety reminder following illegal dumping of explosives
10 September 2018

The Council is reminding the public of the risks of dumping explosives following discovery by staff of 26 marine distress flares at St Margaret’s Hope household waste and recycling centre.

The find resulted in staff isolating the flares on site with assistance provided by the Police for their safe removal for subsequent disposal.

Due to the actions off staff and rapid response and assistance provided by the Police, significant disruption to services was avoided.

Jonathan Walters, from the Council’s Waste Team, said: "The usual process when we find items with an explosive charge at any of our waste facilities is to contact the Police for advice.

“In the case at St Margaret’s Hope, staff were available to contain the area, with assistance provided by the police for safe removal of the flares.

“In this instance we were grateful for the rapid actions by staff and assistance provided by the Police, thus avoiding having to close the site for the protection of council operatives and the public. Normal procedure is to close the site to the public, or if safe to do so, cordon off the relevant area. This can result in significant periods of closure of recycling centres.

"We'd just remind people that disposing of live ammunition or explosives within the general waste is illegal and represents a significant risk to members of the public and our staff, not to mention disruption, such as potential site closure, while safe disposal is taken care of.”

If anyone has or discovers live ammunition that requires disposal, please contact Police Scotland on their national enquiry line 101 to seek advice on the appropriate action to take.