Solution to smell not to be sniffed at

MP Stephen Gethins says he'll be monitoring the situation
MP Stephen Gethins says he'll be monitoring the situation

The notorious ‘Melville ming’ emanating from a landfill site near Ladybank could soon be a thing of the past , its operators have promised.

The smell from the site at Lower Melville Wood has caused misery for residents in the Howe of Fife for months.

People living nearby describe is at ‘vile’ and say it’s so bad in summer that they can’t even hang out washing.

The problem has resulted in the operator’s compliance licence rating being downgraded from ‘excellent’ to ‘poor’ in the space of a year.

However after North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins took up the issue last month, operators Fife Resource Solutions have pledged to find a more effective way of managing the landfill gas .

Bosses say they are preparing a proposal to submit to SEPA which it’s hoped will increase gas capture.

John Conaghan, service manager of the Fife Council-owned waste management firm, which is based in Dunfermline, said that works had been carried out earlier this year following complaints to SEPA – the Scottish Environment Protection Agency –which regulates landfill sites.

He said that the drainage trench around the plant’s operational cell was thought to be to blame for the odour, so gas wells had been installed so that landfill gas could be intercepted.

But he said there was a limit to the amount of vacuum that could be applied .

“We have now sealed the drainage trench and have connected this to the gas collection system as well,” he told Mr Gethins in a letter.

“We are now compiling a proposal to submit to SEPA regarding the installation of a temporary capping liner on the flanks of the operational cell , which will assist in capturng the gas and allow more vacuum to be applied to the system.

“I trust this demonstrates that we are continuing to take steps to address this issue.”

Mr Gethins said he was pleased Resource Energy Solutions were taking further steps to resolve the issue but said their actions were well overdue.

“I have been clear that this situation has gone on for too long with an unfortunate impact for those living in the surrounding area.” he said/

“I am glad SEPA and the site operators have recognised this. I will continue to monitor the situation and hope a permanent solution can be found soon and am grateful to all constituents who continue to keep me informed.”