Bad smell: The site of Cranberry Composting Producers Ltd in Eastville
A WASTE management company has been fined £6,000 after smells from its composting site near Boston caused local residents to vomit and retreat indoors.
Cranberry Composting Producers Ltd was also ordered to pay £4,000 court costs having pleaded guilty to two offences of allowing unpleasant smells to get off the site in Eastville, which was in breach of its waste management licence.
Prosecutor Miriam Tordoff told Skegness Magistrates Court that since January 2006, there had been 135 complaints about the site and the company, which has contracts with Lincolnshire County and East Lindsey District councils to take green waste from household waste recycling centres and kerbside collections, had been sent warning letters on May 31 and June 2, 2007. But when an Environment Agency officer visited the site on June 18 that year, he found piles of rotting green waste including melons and said the smell made him feel nauseous.
Waste had begun to putrefy with pools of liquor collecting at the base of the piles.
Shredded waste had been left uncovered and doors had been left open to a shed which smelt pungent and unpleasant.
Mrs Tordoff said a nearby resident returning home complained to the agency and felt compelled to close all her windows and re-wash laundry to remove the smell, while another resident was so overwhelmed by the odour that it made him sick.
Two days later, the officer visited the site again and found there were piles of waste in the open and described the odour, both on and off site, as "offensive and unpleasant".
After the hearing Environment Agency spokesman Paul Payne said: "It can be frustrating when sites that have the capacity to minimise or prevent the escape of such odours fail to do so.
"I hope this conviction sends the message that companies have a responsibility to respect the rights of their neighbours to not have their lives blighted by such smells."
Spokesman for the residents' association which has campaigned against the site, Irene Seymour, told the Target: the group was "delighted" with the conviction, but said the fines given to Cranberry Compost were "nothing in comparison to the stress caused to us all".