A stinking mountain of charred waste at a former tip site is shrinking.
Suez waste disposal began removing waste from the site off Queens Mill Road, on Monday.
And on Friday, the contractors working for Kirklees Council removed 80 tonnes in four large lorries.
An excavator worked through the day to load heaps of unprocessed rubbish into trucks before it was taken to a safe processing and disposal site. A fire engine remained on hand in case of fires in the waste.
Fires, some lasting days, had broken out in the Lockwood waste mountain after Hunter Group left the premises.
Suez told the Examiner the contractor was taking its lead from West Yorkshire Fire Service to prevent any further blazes.
Senior site manager Mark Williams said: “We’re taking it nice and steady because it’s not a usual job for us.
“The fire brigade are a very important part of the procedure. All the procedures we drew up involved them. They’ve been using thermal imaging equipment to make sure that every load that leaves this site has been checked.”
The site is currently being cleared at a rate of approximately 80 tonnes per day although this may increase as access to the waste becomes easier.
But Mr Williams said he was unsure how long the whole site would take to clear due to the volatility of the waste.
He said: “We’re taking our lead from the fire service. We hope it doesn’t happen but if we do uncover waste and it is smouldering we will have to retreat and they will have to deal with that.”
On Friday, Newsome ward councillors and a Kirklees Council officer were invited to the site to check progress.
Clr Cooper said it was a relief that the site was finally being cleared. He said: “It’s good to see some action on the site at last. I have every confidence that the site will be restored and that the residents and businesses, come the summer, won’t have to smell and see rotting garbage .
“There is a sense of relief. The people of Newsome ward have suffered a lot in terms of fires , at the mill, the bowling club and of course, Hunter’s.”
Clr Cooper added he would not be happy to see another waste disposal company there. He said: “There’s a legal issue with the lack of regulation against people like Sam Hunter .”