A Leeds-based waste site operator has been fined £125,000 by the Environment Agency for causing odour pollution at two of its sites.
Associated Waste Management’s site in Gelderd Road, Leeds caused repeated odour problems between June 2012 and October 2013. The Environment Agency carried out 75 odour assessments during this time, most of which recorded smells that would likely cause offence.
The Environment Agency received numerous complaints from local residents about the smell of rotting waste coming from its Canal Road, Bradford site over 49 dates between March and July 2013. Residents complained they were not able to spend time in their garden or open their windows, and one resident said the smell was so bad that it made him feel sick.
The site had its waste permit revoked in October 2013, preventing the firm from bringing any more waste to the site until it had made improvements. It had its permit reinstated later that month.
The company had not been closing the shutters on the tipping shed that was being used by refuse vehicles, which allowed the smell of rotting waste to leave the site.
The company, which has an O-licence authorising up to 116 vehicles and 41 trailers across six sites, was served with an enforcement notice for the Bradford site in July 2013. It revised its odour management plan, and this was approved in October of that year.
Associated Waste Management told Leeds Crown Court on 6 March that it relied on an external company to manage the sites’ odour, and it had supplied odour suppression equipment that had not worked.
The company was fined £75,000 for the offence at the Leeds site and £50,000 for the offence at the Bradford operation. It must also pay £75,000 in costs.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Waste sites like those managed by AWM can have a detrimental impact on local communities if they are not managed properly. That’s why it is vital that operators adhere to environmental regulations and the conditions on their environmental permits.”