EA Newsletter: AmeyCespa

The AmeyCespa Waterbeach Waste Management Park has a range of facilities which treat all types of waste. There are two potential major sources of odour on the site, the In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility and the Mechanical Biological Treatment Plant (MBT).

The AmeyCespa site operates under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations.

Alongside other measures in their Environmental Permit with us, AmeyCespa is obliged to prevent, or where that is not possible, to minimise any odour. In principle it is accepted that a composting process may generate some low level odour from time to time. AmeyCespa must, however, take appropriate measures to ensure that their activities do not result in odour at levels which are likely to cause offence to senses or serious detriment to the amenity outside of the site.

How does the Environment Agency regulate this site?
We regulate against the conditions of an Environmental Permit. Our primary role is to make sure that the site is operated in a way that does not cause harm to the environment or to human health. It should also not cause a serious detriment to the amenity outside of the site. We work with AmeyCespa to ensure that the site keeps to the conditions in its Environmental Permit. This includes managing the odours being released from the site.

Further details of what an Environmental Permit might entail can be found on our website:  www.gov.uk/environment-agency.gov.uk

If AmeyCespa fails to take action to address ongoing odour issues then we can take enforcement action against them.

What has AmeyCespa done to minimise odour?
AmeyCespa has:
• completed improvements to the foul drainage on site
• reduced  the tonnage of incoming waste to the IVC
• improved the compost maturation process
• installed improved odour abatement in the form of a biofilter for the waste reception building and composting vessels

What can local people do? 
If you smell an odour which is significant enough to be offensive, or is having a detrimental impact on you or your surroundings, you should call our Incident Hotline as soon as possible. In response, we will endeavour to attend the area to investigate the odour and to try to substantiate its source.  We deem significant odour to be at the higher end of the 1 – 6 scale (see below) or lower level odour experienced for a sustained period of time; thereby causing a nuisance.

We all wish to see a lasting solution to the problem.  If you have a complaint about a significant odour you are experiencing please call our Incident Hotline (Free phone, 24 hour service) on:  0800 80 70 60  When you call our hotline about odour please provide as much of the following information as you can:

• When you first noticed the problem
• How long it lasted
•  When was it at its worst and is it still occurring?
•  Where you noticed it
•  What the weather conditions are like
• What it smelt like
•  Is the problem constant or intermittent?
• The intensity of the odour on a scale of 1 – 6 (see below):

1 – Very faint odour
2 – Faint odour
3 – Distinct odour
4 – Strong odour
5 – Very strong odour
6 – Extremely strong odour

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