Good weather leads to complaints about Polmont landfill site

Avondale landfill site
Avondale landfill site

An environmental watchdog has received complaints from frustrated residents.

They claimed they couldn’t enjoy last week’s good weather because of bad smells.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) said it received a number of complaints about odours on the M9, the Lathallan roundabout and from some residential areas of Polmont, coming from the Avondale landfill site.

Some of the complaints, which have been received over the past two weeks, involved residents complaining that they couldn’t sit outside and enjoy the recent warm weather because of the smell.

Now, SEPA is working with the operators to make improvements on site and has set up a dedicated email address to keep concerned locals informed.

Chris Dailly, SEPA’s unit manager for Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire, said: “Odours from landfill sites are caused by the escape of landfill gas, produced when waste degrades.

“SEPA instructed the operators of Avondale Landfill to carry out a full review of the Landfill Gas Management System as a result of odour issues during December 2011 and January 2012.

“This review is now largely complete and has highlighted improvements needed in a number of areas.

“SEPA will meet Avondale representatives by mid April to discuss the findings of the review and any actions taken and required in detail.”

Mr Dailly said SEPA appreciated the community wants to know what is happening at the site, so set up a dedicated email address to provide information by automatic response.

John Holt, director and chief executive at Avondale, said the company was doing all it could to resolve the issues.

He said: “We had a public meeting before Christmas in Polmont where we were made aware of this. We have now set about a major series of works including additional engineers on the site at weekends and on call at night.

“A lot of the work has been completed but there is still work to do.

“We’ve been here for 12 years, have enjoyed a good relationship with residents of Polmont and have always operated an open-door policy.

“We are working diligently to address this and always will do.”

Avondale has also introduced a 24-hour environmental helpline for members of the public to contact the site regarding any issues they may have.

Any complaint received will be forwarded to an onsite engineer and management for investigation.

For information, contact the helpline on (01324) 710965 or SEPA’s pollution hotline on 0800 807060.