RESIDENTS have been forced to live next to a horrifying mountain of rubbish – and they don’t know where it came from.
The shocking discovery at a nature reserve in Calmore, Hamps, was uncovered following a council meeting.
Confirmed to be “large scale littering”, Hampshire County Council (HCC) suspect it to be thousands of PPE containers.
Hoards of aprons and suspected face masks have been left in an enormous heap with committee members now demanding answers.
Mystery surrounds how it was dumped without anyone realising with the council contacting the Environment Agency in a bid to find out more.
And councillors are now questioning whether the materials weren’t fit for purpose during the pandemic – leaving them abandoned near the stunning scenery.
A report found the discovery was made following an investigation into the use of the land at a caravan park.
It said: “Following their own investigations into the use of land as a caravan park, New Forest District Council reported the large-scale storage of packs of old PPE.
“It became apparent that thousands of packs of medical aprons had been dumped on the land with no obvious signs that they were being protected or stored for some future use.
“The concern is that they have been dumped with no intention of removal to a proper facility.
“The EA have been contacted to see if they can determine where the PPE originated and whether it was discarded by a Health Trust as substandard during the Covid procurement.
“Enquiries have been made with Land Registry to ascertain land ownership.”
Councillor Peter Latham said they were horrified when they were made aware of the dumping.
He said: “It was a surprise to put it mildly – a reaction of horror.
“That something like that could have happened in Hampshire and nobody knew about it.
“It looked to us just like the masks, but there could be aprons as well.
“It should have been properly disposed of, probably to a recycling centre.
“We don’t know where it came from and who put it there.
“Clearly it shouldn’t have been dumped there – we’re looking into the land registry to see who owns the land to see what was agreed between those who dumped it.
“Ideally we wish to know who owns the PPE in the first place, who was responsible for disposing it, why they disposed of it there.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before.
“None of us have.”
An investigation by the Environment Agency has since been launched.
A spokesperson said they will be visiting the sit next week, adding: “We are unable to comment further in order to not prejudice any investigations or subsequent enforcement decisions.”