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Calls to fine Biffa £10k per day over Cannock landfill smell

Calls have been made to fine the owners of Cannock's "Wrekin of rubbish" £10,000 per day.

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Smells coming from Biffa's Poplars landfill has caused anger from residents nearby

Residents filled Hednesford Town Council's meeting on Tuesday night and voiced concerns about the Biffa-owned Poplars Landfill and Anaerobic Digestion Site.

People living nearby have complained of strong odours coming from the waste site for several weeks.

A Facebook group called "Cannock tip - stop the stench" has attracted hundreds of members.

And a petition calling for the Environment Agency to take action has hit more than 1,000 signatures.

Rob Plum, of Peterborough Drive, added: “I can’t understand why they’ve been allowed to build a Wrekin of rubbish - have they overstepped the mark?”

Another resident asked if the landfill site was bringing down the price of their homes.

Les Bullock, parish councillor for Heath Hayes and Wimblebury, said the site should have been closed straight away.

He said: “This has been going on since probably early November.

“The only reason that it’s taken so long is through total mismanagement.

“The Environment Agency licence the tip. It must be obvious to them that it’s not been done right.

“In my opinion it should have been closed straight away as soon as it became a constant problem to force Biffa to get it right.

Calls have been made to fine Biffa over the stench coming from the landfill site

“There should be a delay charge on Biffa by the Environment Agency of £10,000 a day.

“That would concentrate their efforts on getting it right.”

Council leader Paul Woodhead said: “The EA does have the powers to service prohibition notices but they need evidence which comes from complaints so it’s important people keep complaining.”

Councillor Phil Hewitt, Cannock Chase District Councillor for the Hawks Green Ward, said he went to meet the EA and Biffa with MP Amanda Milling and said work on the site will start this Thursday.

He said: “The smell is awful. On Thursday they will start the plastic capping as the clay has failed to work.

“The capping has come from Germany. I’m not making excuses for Biffa I’m just passing on exactly what they’ve told us.

“They can’t lay it in the rain and wind, it should take a month to cover it all.

“We’ve already asked them for a further meeting.”

A spokesman for Biffa said: “Following recent heavy rainfall, the gas production rate at our Poplars site has been much faster than expected.

"We’ve acted quickly to put extra measures in place which we are confident will address the issue with time.

"We would like to reassure residents that the issue does not pose health risks.”