Smelly waste plant is ‘getting better’ - boss

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Environment Agency bosses say smells pouring from a £320m Leyland waste plant are ‘getting better’.

The Farington Waste Technology Park has been plagued by controversy since the beginning of the year when it was revealed bio-filters at the site were not working.

This caused odours to pour from the site and resulted in hundreds of complaints to operators Global Renewables.

Now, after promising to clean up their act or face hefty fines, the situation could be under control.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “There has been an improvement over the last week or so.

“Our engineers are still there (at the site) monitoring to make sure they operate within their (odour) limits.

“The number of complaints have also started to drop but we continue to act on any phone calls we receive.

“We are hoping that things are close to being sorted on the site.”

Global Renewables say the problem started after ‘gunk’ built up in the chemical scrubbers that work with the site’s bio-filters.

The filters are meant to organically break down any bad smells from compost created at the site.

And residents living nearby also say they have seen an improvement.

Joan Langford, who lives on Stanifield Lane in Farington, said: “I could still smell the musty odour this week but it was while I was within the waste site area.

“I have not smelt it so much near the houses.

“It is definitely improving but there are still some smells. It has been going on since at least January and it is now May, so it should be sorted.”

The Guardian has previously revealed that Global Renewables, who operate the site under a joint initiative with Lancashire County Council, have implemented a contingency plan which means if the odours come back, they will be forced to close until the problem is resolved.

CEO David Brewer pledged that househeld waste admissions at the site on Sustainability Way would be stopped if the odours reached problem levels again.

Mike Otter, who represents Farington East at South Ribble Council, said: “I don’t think they are quite there yet but the odour levels are coming down quite dramatically and I have had less complaints.

“The smells are not as noticeable as they once were but the Environment Agency are still picking up on any complaints.

“It is good news. The next issue in the future will be the penalty payments, which will probably not be resolved for the next six to 12 months.”

Global Renewables Lancashire did not comment.