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A “DEEPLY unpleasant” smell that’s reached as far as Crossgates and Cowdenbeath is coming from a rubbish dump north of Dunfermline.
Multiple reports from Fife residents about the stench were submitted to SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) in October.
Fife Council admitted the pong is coming from the Lochhead landfill site, near Wellwood, and are now dealing with the issue after more complaints.
The site is run by the council’s arms-length company, Fife Resource Solutions, and chief operating officer Robin Baird said: “We’re continuing to do extensive work onsite to ensure we maximise the gas capture. These works continue at a pace and are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.”
SEPA confirmed that it is investigating while Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell is calling for more clarity. He said: “Landfill sites are a key source of climate change emissions so it’s important that they’re well maintained and work is undertaken to minimise their impact.
“However, in this instance, there’s been a complete lack of communication with the local community, leaving residents worried and having to tolerate deeply unpleasant smells in their own homes for months on end.
“I’ve heard reports that people thought there was a gas leak in their home or that there had been an incident at Mossmorran leading to a leak. People are having to chase SEPA and the council for updates, when there should have been a public information campaign about this work, easing people’s worries and confirming how long it would last for.
“I understand the work is due to come to an end shortly, which will be a great relief for residents. However, Fife Council need to learn from this and ensure future work which has an impact on the local environment is clearly communicated in the press, on social media and to neighbouring houses.”
Cowdenbeath councillor Darren Watt also highlighted the issue and said: “For a number of months, local residents throughout the area have complained of an unpleasant odour, often described as sulphur- or methane-like.
“I’m advised that some issues were resolved quickly, however, further work is still ongoing which includes drilling and installing gas wells and extraction systems.
“Local residents are most likely to experience this unpleasant smell generally when there’s a westerly wind, the temperature drops and a wind speed of around 8-15 mph.
“SEPA are working alongside Fife Council and the site operators to ensure there’s a quick resolution, however, if you experience an unpleasant odour, you can report directly to SEPA via the website or call the pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”