Stirling Observer


Soot from Superglass factory also causing worry


Bemused residents living next to a Stirling factory woke to find “balls of cotton wool” in their gardens.

Colquhoun Street residents contacted the Observer last Thursday to say that a white cotton wool like substance had started to appear in the area that morning.

Soot, they added, was also a problem – and pointed the finger at the nearby Superglass factory which manufactur­es glass wool insulation.

Watchdog SEPA this week confirmed that Superglass, which employs 170 people at the factory, was behind recent soot and white cotton wool deposits, but were confident they had not caused “significan­t” environmen­tal impact.

The deposits follow complaints made about noise from the plant last year which residents had described as “a constant drone”.

Residents told the Observer last Thursday that “unusual” black smoke was seen coming from a factory chimney last Tuesday evening.

Colquhoun Street resident Marlyn Haxton pointed out: “I have lived in Braehead all my life – and in Colquhoun Street for almost 40 years.

“The soot I’d say has been pretty constant during that time, but I’ve not seen the white cotton wool for a while, I’m guessing, about 30 years.

“Last Tuesday about tea time there was thick black smoke coming from the Superglass chimney. I’ve not seen smoke like that at that time of day before. It’s unusual.

“On Thursday morning white cotton wool was everywhere – in my garden, paths, decking, you name it.

“I want to find out what this is all about.”

Neighbour Nina Luti said: “We regularly find a film of dust on our cars and now we have this white cotton wool-like substance.

“People are worried it could be a health hazard. They are worried about what they are breathing in.”

A spokespers­on from Superglass said: “As a longstandi­ng participan­t in the local community, Superglass is committed to maintainin­g a strong working relationsh­ip with neighbours and stakeholde­rs. “On [Tuesday] August 31 there was a small process fire in the curing oven generating some soot.

“The fire was identified and managed within fifteen minutes. These are relatively uncommon events in the manufactur­ing process. At the time, we notified Scottish Environmen­tal Protection Agency (SEPA).

“The reported wool deposits are currently being analysed by SEPA and we await the results of this analysis.

“Once we know these results, we will work with our local stakeholde­rs to resolve any issues, if appropriat­e. “On some previous occasions where deposits have been reported, independen­t analysis by SEPA has shown these not to come from the factory.”

A SEPA spokespers­on said this week: “We have received reports of black soot falling on cars in an area of Stirling, as well as a white wool material in the same area.

“SEPA officers have attended and determined the source as the nearby Superglass factory.

“We are now deciding on any appropriat­e enforcemen­t action to be taken and are working with Superglass to ensure the incident is not repeated. “We are confident that this will not have caused any significan­t environmen­tal impact.”

Chairman of Braehead and Broomridge Community Council Hugh McClung said this week: “We are aware of long-standing issues like soot and noise and had a meeting with Superglass and SEPA earlier this year.

“However, we are now considerin­g that a public meeting would be the best way forward.”

Two years ago Superglass completed a £37m redevelopm­ent of its Springkers­e manufactur­ing site.

The investment, announced in 2017, had been the largest in Scottish engineerin­g and manufactur­ing in recent years.

It doubled the Thistle Industrial Estate site’s capacity to around 60,000 tonnes of glass wool insulation annually, creating 20 new jobs, and followed the £8.7m takeover of Superglass in 2016 by TECHNONICO­L, which is the largest manufactur­er of constructi­on materials in Russia and Eastern Europe.

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 ??  ?? Strange discovery Sample of cotton wool found by Marlyn Haxton, Colquhoun Street, Stirling
Strange discovery Sample of cotton wool found by Marlyn Haxton, Colquhoun Street, Stirling
 ??  ?? Cotton on ‘Cotton wool’material on a car bonnet, Colquhoun Street, Stirling
Cotton on ‘Cotton wool’material on a car bonnet, Colquhoun Street, Stirling

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