Valencia Update: odour complaints again

Published Categorised as Updates

Following complaints from local residents arising from Valencia’s landfill site at Oxwell Mains, I was delighted to secure an onsite meeting with their Business Development Director Paul Ringham.

Sod’s law that our visit coincided with easterly winds rather than the more common westerly’s meaning that the unpleasant smells coming from the facility were greatly reduced, Mr Ringham agreed that a nasty odour was still evident around the A1 between Innerwick and Pinkerton.

Onsite it was interesting to see how the facility operates. The new sorting facility is now up and running and seems to be working well, including the removal of single use vapes and batteries, which importantly helps to reduce fire risks.

Over the past few weeks they have recommenced landfill works and have also been renewing some of the plastic membrane which is used to capture the methane gas from the site.

The uncovering of parts of the site to allow for repairs and replacement of the membrane, along with drilling new holes for collection pipes has been predominantly responsible for the increased strong smells we are experiencing.

Works are nearing completion and weather permitting should be finished within two weeks. In order to ensure that the new membrane has a gas tight seal it requires welding which is weather dependent.

During my full site visit it was interesting and very pleasing to note that no smell was evident where the new membrane had been installed, but to the south east of the site where works are still to be completed it was a very different story and the odour was very evident. I was pleased that both the site manager and Valencia Director accompanied me on the visit and acknowledged the smell.

It is likely that over the coming weeks as the works continue we will experience some further unpleasant smells, but I feel reassured following my visit that once the works are completed the smell will go.

Additionally whilst on site I took the opportunity of raising concerns around litter on and close to the facility. Whilst portable screens are helping to minimise litter spread, the facility also employs litter pickers, but admitted that more staff were required and they are currently advertising for staff.

I am happy with what I have seen and the progress being made and I was pleased that Mr Ringham had travelled from London to attend our meeting. He has given me his direct contact details and I have assured him that I will not hesitate to use them should we experience further problems. I shall be keeping an eye on the facility and would be grateful if you could contact me should you experience any issues.

Kindest regards,

Councillor Donna Collins

By whatawaste

is curious about the environment and the waste we throw into it ...