Waste plant - ‘we are not a nuisance’

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Global Renewables, Farington
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Global Renewables, Farington
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Bosses behind a controversial Leyland waste plant say they’re no longer a nuisance neighbour.

The £320m Farington Waste Technology Plant - a joint venture between Global Renewables and Lancashire County Council - has been plagued by problems over bad smells pouring from the premises since early January.

But bosses at the plant now say they have had a significant reduction in the number of complaints they have received about the odours.

A spokesperson for Global Renewables said: “Our odour levels are well within the boundaries set and have been for a while now.

“This has led to a significant drop in the number of complaints we have received and we have had a really positive response from neighbours.

“It is going well and our neighbours reflect that. It’s important we’re not a nuisance neighbour, that’s the main priority.”

In April the company announced they had been forced to put in place a contingency plan which meant they would shut down a part of the site if odour problems were to occur again.

The smells were shown to have come from a build up of ‘gunk’ in the chemical scrubbers that work with the plant’s bio-filters in organically breaking down smells, which are then released into the air. The spokesperson for Global Renewables said: “Previously we did have a build up of film in the scrubbers and that was part of the problem.

“We now have a maintenance programme that involves cleaning the scrubbers.”

Meanwhile, neighbours living close to the site say while the problem is getting better, it is still not completely fixed.

Joan Langford, who lives in Farington, said: “The smells occur not very often, but they are still there.

“It definitely is a lot better but let’s not forget that at the start of all this we were told there would be no smells at all.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency confirmed they had seen a drop in complaints but are still urging any odours that residents smell from the plant to report it to them.

They said: “From our point of view, the site is currently complying with all of its permit conditions, but there are some localised odour issues near the site.

“The odours have significantly reduced form what they were originally and we are still looking at the evidence to find out the cause of the original outbreak was.

“If anyone has problems with odour from the site, they can call our 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807060.

“Officers are on standby 24 hours a day who can go out to calls as soon as we get them in.”