Residents 'unable to leave home' due to Cannock tip smell
Residents have been left unable to leave their home due to the bad smell from a Cannock tip, a Staffordshire MP has said.
Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling said she had been continuing to receive complaints from residents highlighting issues including house sales falling through and the inability to leave homes because of the smell.
Residents have been complaining about bad odours coming from the Poplars Landfill Site, off Lichfield Road, since the end of last year. The site is owned and operated by Biffa Waste Services Ltd, which has promised it is taking action to deal with the problem.
Ms Milling said the smell is causing residents "real distress".
She said: "I am still receiving many complaints about the smell from Poplars Tip.
"The last few days have been very bad in places and it is causing real distress to people. The issue has rumbled on for months and people have contacted my office reporting various issues, including house sales falling through, the inability to leave homes because of the smell, and children waking up in the early hours because the smell is so strong, getting into every room of the house.
"I am under no illusions how serious this matter is and I have been in contact with Biffa and the Environment Agency again today, as well as also contacting Public Health England about the matter.
"When I met Biffa and the Environment Agency at Poplars Tip a couple of weeks ago, a plan was agreed by Biffa to cap the waste, which is believed to be causing the problem, with plastic sheeting.
"This work is ongoing and Biffa expect it to be fully completed by early February. They have also increased efforts to capture gas leaking from the landfill and patch any other leaks elsewhere on site. Hopefully the plastic sheeting will resolve the issue, as it has worked elsewhere."
Ms Milling said she will meet again with Biffa and the Environment Agency once the work has been completed to discuss the situation further.
A spokesperson for Biffa said: “Following recent heavy rainfall in Staffordshire, 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 take our responsibilities to the environment and local community very seriously and are very sorry for any inconvenience caused. We continue to liaise with the Environment Agency, local councillors and the local MP to ensure that all parties are aware of progress.”
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “Biffa is responsible for managing odour at the site. They are currently carrying out work to reduce the odour issues experienced by local people. Biffa expect the work to be completed next month.
“As regulator, we are monitoring the site and the work Biffa is doing on a regular basis, and we will monitor the success of those measures. Inevitably some odour is likely at times with any landfill site, however it should not be causing offence.”