Company chiefs have invested a further £500,000 in an attempt to reduce unpleasant gases escaping from a waste site at Newcastle which have caused widespread public protests.
Lafarge Tarmac Ltd has capped large areas of its site at Walley’s Quarry in Cemetery Road, Silverdale, and installed a new bio-filtration system and de-odourising sprayers as part of a 19-point plan designed to neutralise the smells.
Residents living near the site have complained that they are unable to open their windows or use their gardens on days when the smells are at their worst.
The company’s announcement was welcomed by Newcastle’s Labour MP Paul Farrelly, who has pressed Lafarge and the Environment Agency to take urgent action.
Mr Farrelly said: “Clearly the company has taken on board the strength of feeling that has been expressed locally and I hope these measures will produce a long-term solution to the problem.
“I will continue to press the company for further action to ensure that everything feasible is done to eradicate these smells which are such a concern locally.”
In response to residents’ concerns, Lafarge has also halved the tipping zone on the site and has deposited another 11,000 tonnes of soil on top of the landfill to seal in the smells. Extra tankers have also been brought in to remove ‘leachates’, liquid residues after gas has been pumped away.
Independent consultants are now carrying out regular odour monitoring in conjunction with officers from the Environment Agency, who use highly sensitive thermal imaging cameras to detect landfill gas levels.
David Wilson, Lafarge’s national waste manager, said the company is committed to listening to the concerns of local residents and will ensure that they and their elected representatives are kept fully informed as the improvement works progress.
Paul is pictured with Lafarge’s senior managers inspecting their improvement plans for the site.