At a meeting with Spaldington residents today I was informed that yesterday morning (Sat) the local composter had been removing 'composted' material from his farm buildings to maturation heaps in the fields near his farm. These movements are thought to have caused the foul smell that engulfed the area. I was also informed that the composter gave a two fingered greeting to the residents as they slowed their vehicle to observe what was happening.
The meeting was after I’d received a number of calls and emails from Spaldington residents regarding the smell being generated by the movement of this so called compost, especially on a Saturday so close to the Christmas holiday.
I have subsequently spoken to Environment Agency and also the ERYC Public Protection.
The current position regarding composing in the Spaldington Area
At the beginning of November I attended a meeting with a number of Spaldington residents and Jan Davie, the Environment Agency’s Environment Manager for East Yorkshire. This was a very productive meeting where the Agency was able to provide feedback on their activities and listen to the concerns of the community.
The Agency have since began a full audit of the composting and land spreading activities carried out at a Spaldington Farm which is to include an investigation of the types, quantities and source of all the material taken in over the last twelve months. Although some of the concerns relate to animal health issues and the risks associated with importing animal wastes into a farming area, which are not directly under the control of the Environment Agency, assurances have been given that the Agency are in regular contact with the Animal Health Agency (formerly the State Vets Service) and are committed to raising residents concerns.
A working group consisting of those agencies with regulatory responsibility for the composting industry has been established, these include representatives of ERYC’s Planning, Animal Health and Environmental Health, the Animal Health Agency and the Environment Agency. It is acknowledged that it is vital these organisations work together in this area to deal with residents concerns. This group met for the first time on 28th November.
It has been confirmed that ERYC Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee is have the opportunity to scrutinise the regulation of the Agricultural Composting issue as per the motion at it’s meeting to be held in March.