WRG slapped with fine for 'rotten egg' landfill odour

WRG Waste Services has been fined £10,500 for failing to contain offensive odours emanating from its Greengairs landfill site in North Lanarkshire.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a key condition of its waste permit on 17 separate dates between 7 November 2010 and 16 February 2011 when odours could be detected outside of the site boundaries.

The case was brought by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) following complaints from local residents of "rotten egg" smells, which were being caused by the escape of methane from one of the landfill cells.

Despite a warning from SEPA in December 2010, no timescale was given by WRG on when capping work to contain the odour would be complete. As a result, public complaints continued before an enforcement notice was served on WRG in January 2011.

Before sentencing, Procurator Fiscal Depute Kate Fleming read excerpts from statements of local residents to the court.

One resident stated: "The smell was so bad I had to pull my quilt over my head. The smell has made me feel sick and I have often woken up in the morning with a sore head."

Another local resident said: "The odours were like methane and rotten eggs. These odours occurred often during the night which impacted on my sleep. These odours would make me feel sick and induce headaches."

The fine was reduced to £10,500 from £14,000 for an early plea.

Maxine Perella


| SEPA | duty of care


Waste & resource management
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