A FED-UP community is kicking up a stink about the disgusting smell from a refuse tip near Wrexham.
Residents of Johnstown and Ruabon, backed by a leading councillor, are demanding measures to stop the evil aroma coming from the Hafod Quarry landfill site.
They claim the smell has become much worse during the recent cold snap as still, freezing air prevents it from escaping into the upper atmosphere.
They also say the stench is turning the stomachs of drivers as it drifts across the nearby A483 Wrexham bypass.
Peter Smith, of Maes Isaf, Nant Parc, Johnstown, said: “The smell is really bad and has got a lot worse since the cold weather began.
“The cold air keeps it close to the ground and stops it escaping.
“It’s a horrible smell like rotting, decomposing material.
“It has been particularly bad over the past few days.
“With it being so cold we’ve not had the windows open but if we had you would be able to smell it in the house.
“I have complained directly to the tip management but nothing has been done about it.
“There must be a couple of hundred houses on this estate and thousands more in Ruabon and everyone is fed up with this smell.”
Pauline Smout, of the Hafod Quarry Environmental Group, which keeps an eye on activities at the tip, said: “The smell is always there and varies according to the weather conditions.
“At the moment it is a disgusting, fruity rotting smell.
“This is an ongoing problem which has never been properly addressed by the people who run the tip.”
Johnstown county councillor David Bithell said: “I am receiving complaints all the time about the smell, which in my view is unbearable and unacceptable.
“I know that Cory Environmental, which runs the tip, and the Environment Agency are trying to address the issue but finding a solution seems to be taking a long time.
“I have asked questions of the council’s public protection and planning officers whether conditions on the tip are being met. When the temperatures are low, as they have been now for many weeks, the smell is just unbearable.
“You can even smell it when you are driving along the bypass.
“Something urgently needs to be done.”
A spokesman for Environment Agency Wales said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by the local community regarding the odours coming from Hafod Quarry landfill and we would like to reassure members of the public that the issue is being addressed.
“We have been working closely with the operator Cory Environmental to carry out improvements.
“Work was completed last year to improve landfill gas extraction to reduce odour and a gas engine was installed to enable this process at the end of 2009.
“Further work is taking place to cap the site and reduce the tipping area.
“We will continue to update the community as to our actions via the local liaison group.”
Ian Craven, Cory Environmental’s landfill manager at Hafod Quarry, said: “We are not aware of any increase in complaints received, but we fully investigate any complaints made and respond to them.
“Cory Environmental works closely with the Environment Agency in regard to this.”
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