London Colney composter stink spreads further afield

The Agrivert digester site

The Agrivert digester site

Archant

Pungent pongs from a large composter have begun to affect residents of another village as well.

People in Colney Heath have now joined residents of London Colney in complaining of a lingering foul smell which they abscribe to the Agrivert composter in South Mimms. The recent turbulent weather has resulted in the smell of rotten eggs hanging over the villages.

District councillor for Colney Heath, Chris Brazier, said: “I’ve had about 12 complaints from people.

“Some families have told me that they can’t even sit outside or open their windows due to the awful smell.”

Cllr Brazier added: “The smell of it is so bad it makes you want to retch.”

The Agrivert recycling facility houses an open digester and can sometimes leak bad smells. It is a particular problem in the summer and this year there have been claims that it is worse than ever.

A spokesperson for Agrivert said the company was aware that there had been some concern about the plant for some time.

He went on: “We have made many improvements to the site operations. However, the root cause of the problems has been contaminated feedstock issues and our focus has therefore been on addressing this issue.

“This year we have negotiated a change in feedstock which allowed an improved to be adopted in mid July this year. Since implementation of the new process we have seen a dramatic drop in odour complaints.”

The spokesman pointed out that at this time of year, many million tonnes of sewage sludge, chicken manure, cow slurry and other organic materials were spread on agricultural land in the weeks following harvest.

Smell complaints had been investigated by the Environment Agency and found not to be connected to the Agrivert site.

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