Bad smells cost waste firm £200,000

8th March 2017

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Waste ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Control ,
  • Prevention & Control


Paul Dukes

Waste operator Associated Waste Management has been fined £125,000 for repeated odour pollution which local residents complained made them feel sick. It was also ordered to pay costs of £75,000.

The company admitted two offences at its waste transfer facilities in Gelderd Road, Leeds and Canal Road, Bradford. Between June 2012 and October 2013, Environment Agency officers carried out more than 70 odour assessments at the sites, most of which recorded smells that were likely to cause offence to human senses.

In October 2013, the regulator suspended the company’s permit for the Leeds facility, preventing it from bringing any more waste onto the site until the odour management plan had been improved. A new plan was approved the same month and the permit reinstated.

Odour problems at the Bradford site prompted complaints among residents of nausea and of not being able to open windows or spend time in gardens.

An inspection in March 2013 revealed that the company was not closing the shutters on a tipping shed used by bin wagons, which allowed the smell of rotting waste to spread from the site.

In July, the agency served an enforcement notice requiring the firm to improve odour management at the Bradford site. A revised document was rejected as inadequate before a new plan was approved in October.

A spokesperson for the agency said: ‘We hope the outcome demonstrates that odour pollution is not acceptable and that [we] will take action against businesses that fail to adhere to permitting rules.’

Associated Waste Management told the court that the odour suppression equipment it had used had not been effective. A spokesperson for the company said: 'The court accepted that we had some time ago effectively fixed the earlier problems which had arisen through nuisance from handling municipal solid waste and not industrial and commercial waste at the facilities in question.'

The judge had imposed a lower fine than that sought by the agency as the company had shown remorse, he added.

It was fined £75,000 for the Leeds offence and £50,000 for the Bradford offence.


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