A Glasgow landfill site has been fined over £6000 for ‘offensive odours’ which local communities say forced them to cancel social gatherings and send children to stay with relatives over eight days last year.

The Variable Monetary Penalty (VMP), served by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), has been issued to Paterson’s of Greenoakhill in the city's East End following a spell of warm weather from June 8 to 15, 2021 which resulted in 138 complaints about smells from nearby residents.

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While it has been claimed that odour from the site has “had an impact on the local community for many years”, the issue is said to have worsened over the eight-day period with witnesses describing a strong stench of “rotten waste” or “bin” that stopped them from using park and gardens or hosting social events.

In that time, SEPA officers substantiated offensive odours on five separate occasions with the source identified as the Paterson’s of Greenoakhill Ltd landfill.

The Mount Vernon site has now been served with a civil penalty of £6,200 from the environment regulator with the company also required to pay £1,156.35 of SEPA’s costs.

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Pamela Armstrong, SEPA Greater Glasgow and Clyde unit manager, said: “We tried to work with Paterson’s of Greenoakhill Ltd to address the issues and secure compliance but were unsuccessful.

“We believe a VMP is the appropriate course of action in this case. 

 “The eight-day period of odour the community had to deal with was significant and was due to a lack of reasonable care by the operator.

“It chose to dispose of waste in an area significantly closer to housing than previously and continued to do so throughout the eight days, despite being notified by SEPA that offensive odours were being recorded off-site.

 “We hope the £6,200 penalty imposed, plus payment of SEPA’s costs demonstrates SEPA’s commitment to take proportionate enforcement action when operators fail to comply with conditions of their permit to operate.”

Although there is said to have been a reduction in reports of odour at Paterson's landfill site this year, recent weeks have seen a rise in complaints with SEPA officers attending the site on December 6 where they reportedly identified an area of the landfill which has started to produce gas.

The site has agreed to bring forward landfill gas infrastructure works which will aim to collect and treat the gas through the on-site landfill gas management system and to engage with local community councils to “better understand the impacts site operations are having on those living nearby”.

Works are scheduled to be completed by December 18.