Odour and Noise

At the proposed site, there are plans to ‘control’ or 'mitigate' odour and noise,  not to 'eliminate’ or 'remove' odour and noise.

Something smelly in Lancashire

We found this description of the Farington Waste Recovery Park in Leyland, Lancashire, published on the website of Global Renewables, the operator:

“From the moment of delivery, every aspect of the Farington facility takes place indoors, making it the UK’s first fully enclosed waste treatment facility. Every part of the process is connected to the air management system, which has been designed so that fresh air is constantly being sucked into the building. Therefore, when the doors are opened briefly to allow trucks access, air flows in, not out, owing to the fact that there is a slightly lower air pressure inside the building.
Everything happens indoors to prevent noise and odour escaping.“

Local residents tell a different story:

Residents living next to a £320m waste recycling centre in Leyland have accused the firm running it of ‘broken promises’ and vented their anger about the Farington Waste Recovery Park, which they blame for producing awful smells and plumes of steam. Admitting they’d made a ‘commissioning error’ which led to a release of odours that were smelt as far away as Bamber Bridge (~2 miles away), bosses at Global Renewables now face a substantial financial penalty. One resident said: “It smells like a swamp, and it’s on my curtains, my bedding, my hair. It’s vile. It’s been happening every day for the past two weeks, and at one stage it made me heave – I thought I was going to be sick, it was so bad."

Apparently it will take 8 weeks to fix the problem. That’s 8 weeks since acknowledging the problem, not 8 weeks from when the problem started. So what happened? Their bio-filters failed and their air management system clearly didn’t work either.

What do the NLWA say?

The North London Waste Authority, in their news update of 7 April 2011 state that:

“The waste facility at Pinkham Way will be fully enclosed, with no sorting, recycling or treatment of waste in the open air, thereby dealing with noise and odour from operations. The buildings will be fitted with a complete air management system that includes filtration for managing odour and the site will comply with all required environmental standards.”

Sound familiar?

And I haven’t even mentioned the noise and disruption expected during construction, the noise from vehicles going to and from, the smell and noise from the fleet of Barnet vehicles which will not be in the ‘fully enclosed facilty’.

An isolated case perhaps? If only!

I'm afraid not. We've been contacted by our friends in Australia who belong to the Canning Melville Community Odour Action Group (CMOAG). Their plant, built in 2003 in Canning Vale in Perth, also uses bio-filters. There has been a persistent odour since it opened - at its worst in 2006, the smell was discernable up to 4km away - more recently, the range is about 2.5km.

Let's see - in a straight line - Muswell Hill Broadway is ~1.9km,
Alexandra Palace is ~1.75km, Wood Green is ~2.5km, Crouch End is ~2.4km, Coldfall School is ~1.6km, Alexandra Park School is ~0.5km away.....

And another one with odour problems. This time in California.


Don’t believe us though. Look at the source material and form your own opinions. Here's some links to get you started: