Waste plant chimneys set for Christmas

Farington Waste Technology Park
Farington Waste Technology Park
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Tall chimneys which will hopefully put an end to years of odour problems from a waste plant in Leyland should be working before Christmas.

Global Renewables has gained permission from Lancashire County Council to increase the height of its five biofilter exhaust stacks at the Waste Technology Park in Farington.

Project manager Paul Lonsdale said the first stack will be ready for use at the start of November, with an aim of completing the work by December 21.

Residents in the area have been complaining about smells coming from the site for months, but after the company installed a temporary stack in May and changed the type of peat used at the plant in July, he said complaints had significantly dropped.

“We had 26 complaints in September, compared to 140 in June,” he revealed. “We’ve seen a massive improvement, and when we last spoke to residents about the issue, they said they’re generally feeling much better.”

Although the new peat seems to have had a positive effect on managing the smells, Mr Lonsdale said taller chimneys were still ‘really needed’ to help reduce the issue for nearby businesses operating from the industrial estate.

Concerns were raised during the planning process that increasing the height of the stacks –from around 12m to 25m – would have a detrimental effect on the appearance of the area.

People also worried that the smells would just be sent further afield if they were coming out of the plant higher in the air.

Mr Lonsdale said: “We’ve done some analysis from the temporary high stack, and it showed that the odour dilutes in the fresh air at that height.

“We’re happy with the performance, and we’re absolutely confident it will work.”

A new regenerative thermal oxidiser is also being installed, meaning there will be six stacks in total.

But one resident, who represents the action group set up to fight the plans for the waste plant before it was even built, is still annoyed at the situation.

Tim Carter, spokesman for RAWS (Residents Against Waste Site), said: “I don’t think anyone is completely happy yet.

“The new chimneys may resolve the problem, but they will still cause a blot on the landscape, and the fact is that this should never have happened in the first place.

“In the last couple of months, there have been occasional smells, depending on the wind direction.

“Windermere Avenue and Wheelton Lane seem to get it worse.

“Only time will tell if this is a long-term solution.”

The next community liaison meeting will take place at the site on December 10.