Whiff of change in the air over landfill

Neton Longville Landfill site; Copyright Google
Neton Longville Landfill site; Copyright Google

THOUSANDS of residents living with the whiff of rotten eggs from a landfill site have been promised a less odorous future this week.

Following an upsurge of complaints about Newton Longville’s landfill site, work is being carried out to reduce the levels of gasses leaking out into the air.

Operators FFC are busy installing additional gas extraction measures and putting up more cladding to seal the site, the Environment Agency has announced.

The agency has received 20 complaints over the past two months about an unpleasant gas-like smell emanating from the site, where tonnes of household waste from all over the city is dumped every week.

But protesters from Bletchley’s nearby Water Eaton Residents’ Association believe thousands more people have suffered in silence.

Association chairman, Shirley Rolfe, said: “There have been strong smells here over the past few months and we’re a couple of miles away from the actual site. It must be stronger for the people who live in Newton Longville and also the new estate of Newton Leys.

“I’ve even smelt it in Buckingham Road. It’s the type of horrible smell that gets everywhere.”

Ten years ago, when the site was run by Shanks Landfill, the whiff was so pungent that 420 householders joined forces to kick up a stink through the courts.

They were awarded compensation after claiming the company had breached its rights to lead pleasant, odour-free lives.

Shirley said: “The smell at that time was terrible. It was just like rotten eggs. Since then things have definitely improved, but everyone has noticed it getting worse again over the past few months.

“We think it must be due to all the rain we’ve had.

“Maybe it makes the rubbish decompose more quickly so there is more methane gas produced.”

FFC is currently striving to reduce the volume of landfill by recycling more waste in a specialist MRF plant.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We carried out routine inspections in December and January and are happy with the steps being taken by the operators.

“The planned work has been delayed by recent weather conditions but it is expected to be completed within the week.”