The worries of residents living near a glass-crushing plant at Bonnyrigg in Midlothian have been backed by their local MSP, and prompted investigations by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa). But the UK waste company that runs the plant, Viridor, insisted that the pollution was harmless and that incidents had been "sporadic".
However, concerns about the company's operations on the site have been accentuated by the fact that it has been using mobile glass-crushing machines for two years without planning consent. An application for retrospective permission is now being considered by Midlothian Council.
The latest pollution incident took place less than two weeks ago, when woodland and plants outside the site were coated with white powder. Earlier incidents were recorded by residents in September and October last year.
"It looks like a fall of snow," said a spokesperson for the Cockpen Association, which represents the local community. "But we are very concerned and angry that it is toxic and carcinogenic and could harm not only the local residents and their families but employees on the site."