A Dorset composting business has been ordered to pay £13,500 in fines and costs for breaching its environmental permit and causing offensive odours.
The Environment Agency has received numerous complaints about the composting activities of Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd since 2006.
The company, that is located close to houses, local business parks and Bournemouth Airport, is able to process 180,000 tonnes of material a year of which 45,000 is food waste and 35,000 tonnes, green waste. The site also has a permit to process soils and wood.
Despite being issued with various warning letters, Eco Sustainable Solutions failed to address the problem and in March 2011 the company accepted a formal caution from the Agency for breaching the odour condition of its permit.
The odour complaints continued into 2013 when they increased in number of frequency. In October 2013 the Agency’s national odour expert visited the composting site and recommended a number of improvements.
Eco Sustainable Solutions was subsequently served with four enforcement notices since in a bid to ensure future compliance with its permit.
The four notices required the company to move from a block to an open windrow system for both their green and in-vessel composting, improve the aeration of the site’s leachate lagoons, improve the company’s food reception building and produce a new environmental management system and odour management plan.
Stephanie Marriott for the Environment Agency said: “The good news is the operator has now complied with three of the notices and is on course to comply with the fourth very soon. Since December 2013 they have worked closely with us and made significant on-site improvements. They have stopped their in-vessel composting activities.
Appearing before Bournemouth magistrates, Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd (ESS), of Chapel Lane, Parley, Christchurch was fined a total of £7,400 and ordered to pay £6,100 costs after pleading guilty to four offences of contravening permit conditions between October 2012 and June 2013 and five offences of causing significant odour off site between February and April 2013.
The company was prosecuted under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. The case was heard last Wednesday (April 16).
Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd has recently invested £1m at the site which it claims has eliminated all ‘obnoxious’ odours.