Oh dear, what an odour.....

A landfill site in South Wales received industrial waste containing sulphurous compounds which gave off a pungent aroma, much to the delight of local residents. Carmarthenshire County Council sniffed out a solution.

Nantycaws landfill site located near Carmarthen, has been developed as a disposal facility for domestic, industrial and commercial wastes arising within Carmarthenshire and neighbouring counties.

The Environment Agency received the first complaints from local residents relating to odours in the vicinity of the site in July 1998, some time after the first inputs of sulphate waste. Potential sources of odours identified by the Agency included:

(i) hydrogen sulphide gas emissions due to the breakdown of the sulphate waste,
(ii) odours from accelerated waste degradation due to elevated rainfall and leachate re-circulation,
(iii) landfill gas emissions from cells,
(iv) odours due to leachate storage.

The number of complaints increased during November and December 1998, and the Agency instructed CWM Environmental Ltd, a company wholly owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, to take immediate action.

Action stations
In December 1998, CWM Environmental Ltd implemented a series of measures to reduce the potential for odours. These include reduced re-circulation and increased off-site disposal of leachate, reduced working faces, extra cover materials for wastes, wells for landfill gas extraction and the installation of a landfill gas flare.

However, even with these measures, odours might still arise from the leachate and working faces, and CWM Environmental Ltd needed a liquid product that could be applied directly to the source of the odour.

In the autumn of 1999, following consultation with Eco Technology Ltd and laboratory based trials, CWM Environmental decided on a product called Super F SFA PLus LCH.

The SFA Plus LCH was applied directly to the large 640,000 litre leachate lagoon next to the landfill. Dispersion was encouraged through use of a bowser and pumping equipment to agitate and blow air through the lagoon.

A volume of treated leachate was then taken by bowser to the working face of the landfill and sprayed directly on to the waste and the surrounding perimeter. In hot weather conditions, the internal working roads are also treated to counter any malodours.
The SFA Plus LCH was used in three applications; neutralisation of odours in landfill leachate, on the working face, and internal site use. The product worked by reacting on a molecular level to bind and neutralise the odourous compounds in both liquid and air.

The Agency have not pursued CWM Environmental Ltd again since these measures were taken, and there has been no further action or complaints regarding malodours from site.

Simone Astins of the Environment Agency commented, " CWM has conducted trials with the use of a chemical (Super F) to reduce odours from the leachate. These trials have proved successful and the product is now being utilised for larger scale leachate treatment on site."

Landfill manager, Mike Lewis, was impressed by the product and describes it as "excellent ......highly effective......we will certainly purchase Super F again in the future."


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