Withyhedge Landfill Update 12.3.24.

NRW regulatory officer inspecting at Withyhedge Landfill

We have received many odour complaints since yesterday afternoon.

We are making enquiries to establish if there is an explanation for the reports of a stronger than normal odour, and one which is more widespread in the past 36 hours.

We had recorded a steady decline in the number of reports received in recent weeks until now.

Enforcement Notice

On 13 February 2024 we served an Enforcement Notice on the landfill operator. We maintain the work required under this Notice represents the most effective way of removing the source of the odour.  

The Notice required RML to complete several actions relating to an uncapped waste mass, which had been identified as the most likely source of landfill gas emissions and odour. The Notice includes several actions, some of which need to happen in a specific order, reflected by different completion deadlines.   

First action completed

The first action, which related to preparatory work prior to capping, was completed last week, in advance of the deadline of 15 March 2024. This has also enabled the capping work to progress ahead of schedule. In addition, all gas wells are in situ and are ready to be connected to the landfill gas collection infrastructure in a phased manner.

Gas survey

A gas survey undertaken by NRW during a compliance inspection on 7 March 2024 revealed much lower levels of methane emissions compared to a similar survey on 19 December 2023. However, there are areas of waste yet to be capped and these have the potential to release gas.

Engineering work

NRW is hopeful all engineering work on the previously uncapped area will be completed before the deadline of 5 April 2024. However, we appreciate the distress, anger and frustration caused by the impact of odour on local communities in the past couple of days. We are in daily dialogue with the landfill operator about the urgency of the situation and will be attending site again this week.

Air quality

On Friday 8 March 2024, NRW joined a multi-agency Air Quality Cell meeting regarding offsite monitoring. Results from the first set of diffusion tubes deployed in the communities around the landfill are expected early next week. All authorities including Public Health Wales will receive the data.

Dedicated reporting form

Please continue to report occurrences of odour via our dedicated reporting form or by calling 0300 065 3000.

PIC CAPTION: NRW regulatory officer inspecting the integrity of the capped area and gas management system