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Organics company fined £26,000 over odours

An organics operator has been fined £26,000 because of a failure to tackle offensive odours from its site.

Scottish Water Horizons, a subsidiary of Scottish Water, was in Airdrie Sheriff Court because of management of its Deerdykes composting and organics recycling facility during 2012.

The company admitted five charges of failing to comply with the conditions of its former Pollution Prevention and Control Permit, issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa). The matter was investigated by Sepa officers and a report sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Sepa first received public complaints in June 2012 and officers detected offensive odours coming from activities at the Deerdykes site, which included the composting of wastes.

After further complaints that year, Sepa found that the outdoor composting of waste and the turning, screening and maturation of the compost was contributing to the offensive odours and that equipment designed to treat odorous air was not performing adequately.

The permit was transferred from Scottish Water Horizons to Scottish Water in 2013 and “significant improvements” have since been made to the way in which the site operates.

Fiona Graham, Sepa’s reporting officer, said an operator had to use the best available techniques for preventing or reducing emissions from the site. These include both the technology used and the way in which the installation is designed, built, maintained and operated.

“Scottish Water Horizons was given the opportunity to put further engineered measures in place to control odours, but insisted that management controls would ensure compliance rather than investing in infrastructure.

“If operators do not meet the conditions of their permit and do not take the required steps to ensure their site is compliant, we will not hesitate to recommend them for prosecution.”

A company spokesman said: “Scottish Water and Scottish Water Horizons take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and apologise for the odour issue and any inconvenience it caused.

“The composting facility at Deerdykes, which was the source of this issue, was closed in March 2013 after it was decided to focus on food waste recycling operations there.”

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