Operator of former landfill which caused nuisance odours pays £75,000 to local charities

The operator of the former Path Head Quarry landfill site has agreed to contribute £75,000 to local charities after its site created nuisance odours which impacted nearby homes in 2016.

An Enforcement Undertaking was submitted by Suez UK Environmental Limited after it had failed to fulfil its environmental obligations and breached the conditions of its environmental permit. The Enforcement Undertaking has now been accepted.

An Enforcement Undertaking is a voluntary offer made by an offender to:

  • Put right the effects of their offending
  • Put right the impact on third parties
  • Make sure the offence cannot happen again.

The Environment Agency learned of the nuisance odours at the landfill site in 2015 after thousands of complaints were received by its national incident hotline from communities in Ryton, Stargate, Stella and Crookhill.

It was later discovered the nuisance odours were caused by excessive landfill gas emissions, generated by rotting waste. The Environment Agency requested Suez UK Environment Ltd to take immediate action to better its system of capturing landfill gas and work towards a full site closure in 2017.

The Enforcement Undertaking offer submitted by Suez UK Environment Limited outlined the closure of the landfill in 2017 and its following engineering works to execute a landfill gas extraction system and ‘cap’ the site with an impermeable membrane material. These actions will help limit the risk of further odour nuisance from the site.