Deadline drawing near for Avondale

The landfill site
The landfill site
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The clock is ticking for a landfill site to sort out its troublesome odour problems or face enforcement action from an environmental watchdog.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) says it has set a deadline of today for operators of the Avondale site near Polmont to curb the smell of landfill gas that wafts into neighbouring communities and along the M9 motorway.

It’s the second deadline SEPA has set the site this year.

Smells continued to plague Polmont and the surrounding area after the first target date in August, resulting in a threat of enforcement action by the watchdog.

Avondale is keen to alleviate the problem by working alongside SEPA and has invested around £1.5 million on odour control this year.

Chris Dailly, SEPA’s unit manager for Falkirk, Alloa and Stirling, said: “Avondale Environmental Ltd has been undertaking significant infrastructure works during 2012 in order to improve the control of landfill gas at the site.

“Drilling works to improve the collection of landfill gas are ongoing with additional extraction wells and capping having been installed in the area of the landfill identified as causing the most severe odour problems.

“SEPA is committed to ensuring this issue is resolved and will continue to monitor the site and take action as necessary.

“The works currently being undertaken were agreed with SEPA and, along with other improvements, should result in greater control of landfill gas when completed on December 14.

“We will assess whether further action is required once these works are concluded.”

Avondale chief executive John Holt said: “The required works will be finished by the end of this week and we are happy that we have resolved these issues.

“A good indicator of this is our power output which means we are capturing more gas instead of it escaping.

“We have invested a lot of money to fix this through many alterations and have strengthened the caps on the pipes to withstand more pressure.

“As things stand these works are going well and are pretty much complete and we have it in our budget to change things if it is needed.

“There may be some problems in the future as this is an ongoing process due to the amount of waste we take in, but any leakages wouldn’t be prolonged and would be sorted within two to three hours.”