The company running a landfill site that has been releasing dangerous gasses into the community since October last year has said it will cease receiving waste this week.

Resources Management UK Ltd (RML) has told Natural Resources Wales (NRW) that it will voluntarily stop accepting waste after tomorrow, May 14, for a temporary period of time.

The site will however, continue to accept soil and clay materials as part of their engineering works.

NRW has said that this action by RML ‘in no way impacts’ the deadlines set within the Regulation 36 Enforcement Notice issued last month with a deadline of May 14.

In an update to local residents NRW has said that odour assessments continued last week and that ‘off-site odours associated with the landfill continue to be detected’.

Public Health Wales has advised that odours and emissions from the site may be harmful to health and suggests keeping doors and windows closed when the smells are present.

Local residents have reported a raft of health problems since the landfill gas pollution, including sore and itchy eyes, respiratory problems and nausea.

This is the second enforcement notice issued to RML with regards to the Withyhedge site. NRW said that the first one appeared to have been complied with, however the company had identified another part of the site that gasses were coming from.

The second notice required all work to have been completed by close of play tomorrow and RML has confirmed its intention to comply with the notice deadline. Work associated with the capping of the cell has continued and additional landfill gas wells have been connected to the gas abstraction network.

This transfers landfill gas to the Gas Utilisation Plant (GUP) which generates electricity and has a flare used to treat excess gas.

NRW said that its officers will carry out a series of assessments this week to determine if the specified actions to address the ongoing odour issues have been completed.

Industry regulation team officers will be present on site and in local communities over the coming days, carrying out various assessments both on and off site to determine if all the steps specified within the notice have been completed satisfactorily, and if there are reduced odour emissions from the site.

Once those assessments have been completed, NRW will then be in a position to establish whether the operator has complied with all elements of the notice or if further enforcement action is needed.

Huwel Manley, Head of South West Operations for NRW, said: “The May 14 deadline is the final date for RML Ltd to have completed all the actions they have identified to get the odour issues at Withyhedge Landfill under control.

“Determining if the operator has addressed all the steps set out in our notice and, crucially, if they have had the effect of reducing odour and landfill gas emissions from the site, will take some time.

“We fully understand the strength of feeling and growing impatience amongst people living and working in the surrounding communities.

“We want to reassure them that our officers will be focussing their efforts on inspecting the work carried out by RML,and undertaking assessments on and off site over the days following the deadline, which will include a full site inspection next week.

“While the pressing work required by the operator progresses over the coming days, the site remains under investigation, and we will continue our regulatory efforts.”

If odour issues are present after May 14, residents and workers in the communities surrounding the landfill are urged to continue to report the odour to NRW via the online reporting form or by calling 0300 065 3000.