Work has begun to try to eliminate the notorious ‘Melville ming’, which residents in the Howe of Fife claim is making their lives a misery.
But operators of the landfill site at Lower Melville Wood, near Ladybank, have warned that the smell could get worse before it gets better.
Fife Resource Solutions (FRS), which is owned by Fife Council, has had plans approved by SEPA, the environmental regulator, and has already carried out the first stage of the process aimed at reducing the levels of odour escaping from the site.
The second phase will begin on February 20 and last for two weeks .
It involves capping the northern and eastern flanks of the current operational cell and. say FRS, the work is being accelerated to prevent the escape of landfill gas from these areas.
The whole project will take around six weeks to complete, weather permitting, and during this time it is possible that landfill odour may be more noticeable.
Chris Ewing, chief operating officer of FRS, said: “Capping works are normally carried out when we have finished infilling an area with waste. However, we are accelerating this work to minimise odour escape.
“During the period of the works there is the potential for increased odour escape, and this might be noticed by local residents. But when the works are finished we expect that the possibility of odour escape will be significantly reduced.
“We are liaising closely with SEPA, who have approved the works. We recognise that we have a responsibility to control odour emissions and minimise any impact of the landfill site on local people. I’m very hopeful that, on completion of this work, there will be a significant reduction in unpleasant odours.”
Councillor John Wincott, Fife Council’s transport and environmental spokesman, said: “We anticipate that the new capping layer to the operational/working parts of the site will improve air quality and the local environment in the long term.
“We hope that there will be less and less landfill tipping as time goes on at the site, as local people and businesses recycle more.”
North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins commented: “I am pleased that serious efforts are now being made by FRS, in conjunction with SEPA, to control the odours being emitted from the site.
“For far too long this smell has had a significant detrimental impact on those living in the surrounding area. I will be writing to both FRS and SEPA for updates during the works period as well as for a full report once the works are completed.
“Any continuation of this situation is simply not acceptable.”