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Waste management company ordered to pay £14,400 for odour emissions

A waste management company has been ordered to pay more than £14,400 due to excessive odours escaping from its waste transfer facility in Tyneside.

Impetus Waste Management, which operates a waste transfer warehouse at Davy Bank, Wallsend, was brought to court by the Environment Agency (EA) after two incidents of strong smells.

The firm admitted to two charges before Morth Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. The company was fined £9,990 and ordered to pay £4,311 in costs, with a victim surcharge of £100.

EA officers visited the site in August last year after complaints from nearby residents. Odour was escaping from a building in which general waste was stored. The facility’s doors were open and it appeared that no odour suppression systems were in operation around one of the doors.

Odour complaints were also received in January this year. An officer visited the site on three occasions to carry out ‘sniff tests’, and he concluded that the odour present would cause serious detriment to the amenity of the local area outside the site boundary.

The company said that odour suppression equipment had been switched off to install new machinery. They also blamed a build-up of waste after being let down by the usual haulier.

Sophie Webster, EA environment management team leader, said: “We hope today’s sentence demonstrates the importance of environmental compliance. Waste sites such as this can have a detrimental impact on local communities if they are not managed according to the conditions of their environmental permits.

“In this case, the smells which came from the facility were strong enough to affect residents living more than a hundred metres from the site boundary.”

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