‘Mechanical failure’ at landfill site causes smells in Falkirk

The West Carron landfill site
The West Carron landfill site
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The manager of a landfill site has denied the plant was to blame for a smell wafting through Falkirk this week.

Officers from watchdog Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have been monitoring the West Carron landfill site after detecting a landfill gas odour in the area following complaints from residents on Monday night.

SEPA said the operator’s engineers made repairs at the site on a “mechanical failure” that was the likely cause of the smell.

However, site manager Alan Bell said there was a problem, but it was fixed on Tuesday and wasn’t the source of the odour.

He said: “There was a problem with a compressor but that has been fixed and it didn’t cause the smell.

“If there was some kind of freak emission during the night it would still have been there the next morning, but there has been no odours coming from the site.”

Mr Bell also claimed farmers have been spreading “manure” and “sludge” in surrounding fields, which was a possible culprit for the odour surrounding the site now ran by Central Demolition (Recycling) Ltd (CDRL) after the previous operator went bust.

Senior environment protection officer Kath McDowall said: “SEPA conducted investigations in Falkirk during Monday, February 18 in response to several complaints regarding offensive odours in the area.

“Landfill gas odour in the vicinity of West Carron Landfill was one of a number of distinct odours identified in the area by SEPA officers during Monday evening.

“The operator of the site advised SEPA that a mechanical failure, in part of the landfill gas extraction and flaring system, was the likely cause of the odour release.

“Work to repair the extractor was carried out by the operator during the morning of Tuesday, February 19 and completed later that day.

“During further SEPA inspections on Tuesday it was noted that odours from the landfill site had ceased, however, other odours associated with the spreading of sewage sludge on agricultural land were identified.

“SEPA does not regulate this activity and has alerted the local authority.”