Monday, August 19, 2013

Riverside smell concerns

Last week, I received a number of complaints from residents who live to the immediate north of the Riverside recycling centre and composting operation about the extent of the bad smell coming from the operation.    As one resident put it last Thursday:

"I am appalled at the foul extremely offensive smell I was greeted with this morning on arriving home.
It was the same offensive smell that greeted me on opening the back door before 8am on Monday morning of this week. It is becoming so bad  am sure environmental health may agree it is detrimental to health.  I am finding even the washing I have put out comes in with the smell and I have to wash again (only when the smell is evident). This situation is intolerable and I hope this can be resolved not just for this year but for the future."

A senior member of the City Council's Environment Department has since updated me as follows:

" ... the team on the compost site have been turning windrows this week, and it is likely there has been a smell as a result of this process. Although they check the airport windsock and will attempt to gear the operations around the wind direction, this can change quickly over the course of a day/week.   Unfortunately once the process starts they need to continue.   They are due to finish windrow turning tomorrow, so next week will be carrying out general maintenance on the site, followed by shredding and further windrow turning the week after, so the position will improve.    Unfortunately I can't think of any changes we can take take to eradicate the smell, but do try to minimise it where possible."

This response was also received last Thursday, so this week the situation should be much improved but I am keeping a close eye on the situation in the coming weeks.   Clearly the council has to take care (in terms of wind direction) before any windrow turning works take place.