Waste site causing stink in London Colney

PUBLISHED: 08:31 16 July 2014

Cllr Jacob Quagliozzi and Cllr Malcolm MacMillan

Cllr Jacob Quagliozzi and Cllr Malcolm MacMillan

Archant

The pungent whiff of eau de compost is driving St Albans residents to distraction, particularly as the pong of rotting material has resulted in an increase in pesky flies.

The Environment Agency (EA) is investigating odour complaints from London Colney about Agrivert, which creates compost fertiliser from raw and cooked food and garden waste in nearby South Mimms.

One councillor has asked for the waste site to be permanently shut, as villagers have been forced to close windows in the middle of the night.

While the odour problem flares up regularly each year, it became noticeable again several weeks ago according to St Albans district councillor for London Colney Jacob Quagliozzi, who described it as “pretty pungent”.

He said: “The smell has been getting worse. It has become really bad because waste is piling up on the site.

“I’ve had about 20 locals complaining about it and telling me they haven’t been able to go out into their garden because of the smell of decaying rubbish.”

He said there had also been an increase in flies.

Cllr Malcolm MacMillan, chairman of the village’s parish council, said that at a meeting with Agrivert representatives last Wednesday he was told nothing could be done to reduce the pong in the short term.

Exacerbating the problem was the fact that Broxbourne borough council, unlike its St Albans district counterpart, still accepted green waste containing plasticised cardboard, which is difficult to break down.

However Cllr MacMillan said the Agrivert site was outdated, “and shouldn’t be there. It creates a problem for people with bronchial conditions, who cannot go outside.

“I’m not happy with Agrivert’s response, and I think the only solution is to close the facility down.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said the organisation was aware of concerns, but was still completing an investigation into previous odour problems at the site.

He added: “We have taken enforcement action against the site operators in the past which required them to amend their odour management plan to include further measures to control the odour.”

Agrivert had not responded to the Herts Advertiser at the time of going to press. Residents can report odour problems to the EA’s hotline on 0800 807060.

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