In recent years, the Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) has heard about and followed the situation surrounding sewage treatment and the reception of contaminated sewage at Herdla Nord in Askøy municipality.
At first we had confidence in both the municipality's assessments and Askøy Miljøren's assessment and execution, but after the NMF visited the facility in August 2019, we can only say that our trust was put to shame. We found a facility that handled the masses they receive in an unsatisfactory way, particularly with regard to foreign bodies, plastics, textiles, rubber etc., where everything is exposed to weather, wind, birds and animals with the spreading and littering this entails.
This littering is also evident in the immediate area around the plant, and not least at at least three locations where the "old" sewage sludge has been dumped and buried, containing all the plastic and foreign objects that end up in the toilets on Askøy. We are also not convinced that run-off from the treatment has been handled satisfactorily.
As far as we have experienced, NMF cannot see that the sludge treatment plant at Askøy Miljørens and Herdla gård is being operated satisfactorily, nor can they see how they can think that they are operating in accordance with the applicable regulations.
NMF strongly recommends that Askøy municipality breaks its relationship with Askøy Miljørens and seeks to find other solutions for its sewage treatment, preferably in cooperation with surrounding municipalities, which, according to NMF's understanding, have the capacity to include Askøy in their reception systems. Alternatively, Askøy municipality should arrange for, or build and establish, a new, proper and modern facility on Askøy itself, closer to the largest customer base.
Next, the municipality should enter into a dialogue with Askøy Miljørens and make a plan for how to clean up the already carried out littering that Askøy Miljørens has inflicted on large areas of this beautiful natural gem. Of course according to the polluter pays principle.