Whale laid to rest at Canterbury landfill site

Picture credit: Thanet Coast Project.

Last week (19 October) Viridor’s Shelford Landfill site in Canterbury started the process of laying to rest a 36 foot (11metre) juvenile fin whale that was washed up on the Kent shoreline. The 13 tonne whale was transferred to the Shelford site following tests to confirm the nature of its death and it made the secure journey to the Viridor operation on Friday morning.
Said to be one of the few remaining landfill sites in southern England capable of handling a beast of this nature, the team, at Shelford in Canterbury, were called into action to make the necessary arrangements. There has been a landfill operation on the site for over three decades and as part of the service whale carcasses have been treated in the past. With strict regulations being observed to ensure the waste is contained and treated without impact to the surrounding environment.
Once the waste, in this case a whale, enters the self-contained and engineered landfill cells, it continues to decompose over the coming years and this generates vital renewable energy, enough to power an average family home in the local area for half a year!
Alessandro Sarno, Unit Manager for Viridor said: “Viridor works hard every day receiving waste from across the Canterbury are to recycle as much as possible and then recover renewable energy from what remains. I have worked at the site for the past two years and have seen all sorts of bizarre things from very small items such as mistakenly thrown-away wedding rings to supersized objects such as a whale! Whilst handling the whale the team also took a moment to gaze in awe at this stunning creature that has come to the end of its journey.”