Odours have nothing to do with us, says waste site boss

First published in Marlow

RESIDENTS near to the High Heavens waste site in Clay Lane, Booker, Great Marlow, last week told of their disgust at a terrible odour blighting their summer.

But CRS Bio, the firm which runs the facility for the county council, has this week strenuosly denied the smell is emanating from the site and launched a robust defence of its operations.

Here, in a message to readers, Steve Sharratt, OBE, Chief Executive of the Group which owns CRS Bio, explains more.

As Chief Executive of the Group which owns CRS Bio, which operates the High Heavens composting facility, I was frustrated to read the report in the Bucks Free Press last week about our site.

 We’re proud of our faciltiy and our operating standards – it’s operated by local people who are passionate about what they do and we were all extremely concerned to read that people feel there are any offensive odours coming from our site.   I can assure readers of the Bucks Free Press that the offensive odours described in the article do not come from our operations.  

Some residents have referred to a strong chemical smell. There is nothing on our site or in our process that is capable of producing such an odour.  We have already identified what we believe to be the source of this nuisance elsewhere and have advised the Environment Agency so that it can take action accordingly.

Some residents have also complained of a burnt carbon smell. This is not produced from any material or process of ours.  Again, we have told the Envrionment  Agency about illegal fires on land in the vicinity of High Heavens. These are nothing to do with us - we have no control over them.

Our operation has been carefully and expertly designed to minimise odour and produce a good, clean product. 

Given the nature of composting, we could never guarantee that the site will always be entirely odour-free but we can say with absolute conviction that any occasional smells are of compost, extremely localised and not unpleasant. 

They are certainly not of rotting vegetation, carbon, chemicals or similar, nor extending for miles as described in the article last week.

 At this time of year, our beautiful countryside has a variety of smells. Our hard working farmers apply manures, slurries and compost to their land before ploughing and sowing their crops.  

This a fact of life across all rural and semi-rural communities.  The resulting odours appear to be particularly strong this year, perhaps due to the unusually wet weather.

 We took over the operation of High Heavens in 2008. We were asked to take it over because it performs an important function for the community in recycling waste and reducing greenhouse gases from landfill. The compost we produce also replaces chemical ferilisers from our fields, making our crops stronger and healthier, naturally.

  Before 2008, the facility was the cause of constant complaints from residents throughout the year.  I am proud that, with our local team on-site, we have transformed the operation and we will continue to strive to improve what we do.

  Our neighbours are important to us. We don’t hide away – we hold quarterly community meetings and any local resident is welcome to visit us any time. Whenever there is a suggestion of odour coming from the site, we investigate every single instance and seek to track its source.

  We will continue to work closely and pro-actively with the Environment Agency to ensure they target where any offensive smells are coming from in our community so that they can take the appropiate action. We urge readers to do the same, so that togther we can tackle the problem. And if, on occasion, we are responsible for a compost smell, we will do what we can to prevent it in the future.

  At High Heavens we are committed to doing our job, producing good, healthy compost and being part of our local community.    

Comments (9)

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9:40am Sat 1 Sep 12

s6blr says...

You're just trying to head off the thousands of complaints coming when the High Heavens Toxic Transfer plant opens. You know we opposed your permits, we challenged you in the highly flawed EA assessments, and this is nothing more than CYA.

In Amersham you agreed to install air scrubbers but not here.

Call the EA and file complaints folks on the smells. It is ONLY going to get worse when hundreds of rubbish trucks are loading/offloading daily at the High Heavens Toxic Transfer site.

Sorry but this stinks of C.Y.A. .
You're just trying to head off the thousands of complaints coming when the High Heavens Toxic Transfer plant opens. You know we opposed your permits, we challenged you in the highly flawed EA assessments, and this is nothing more than CYA. In Amersham you agreed to install air scrubbers but not here. Call the EA and file complaints folks on the smells. It is ONLY going to get worse when hundreds of rubbish trucks are loading/offloading daily at the High Heavens Toxic Transfer site. Sorry but this stinks of C.Y.A. . s6blr
  • Score: 1

10:54am Sat 1 Sep 12

Darren Hayday says...

They also try and spin the line that the bad smells are from the farms....

I remember when I was the Cllr for Booker and Cressex and the smell was very bad when it was raining and also they had problems when the clamps opened - hence the reason that the last firm lost the contract here.

It would be good to head a strong campaign against this site and in regards to the bad smells - just because the place is named 'High Heavens' doesn’t mean that it is allowed to omit these foul smells - I even smell it and I live down in Sands!
They also try and spin the line that the bad smells are from the farms.... I remember when I was the Cllr for Booker and Cressex and the smell was very bad when it was raining and also they had problems when the clamps opened - hence the reason that the last firm lost the contract here. It would be good to head a strong campaign against this site and in regards to the bad smells - just because the place is named 'High Heavens' doesn’t mean that it is allowed to omit these foul smells - I even smell it and I live down in Sands! Darren Hayday
  • Score: 1

12:52pm Sat 1 Sep 12

geoffW says...

Darren Hayday wrote:
They also try and spin the line that the bad smells are from the farms....

I remember when I was the Cllr for Booker and Cressex and the smell was very bad when it was raining and also they had problems when the clamps opened - hence the reason that the last firm lost the contract here.

It would be good to head a strong campaign against this site and in regards to the bad smells - just because the place is named 'High Heavens' doesn’t mean that it is allowed to omit these foul smells - I even smell it and I live down in Sands!
Darren, do you know for certain that the smells - as described - eminate from High Heavens? Have you followed your nose and tried to trace the source, or just stood outside you front door and guessed?

OR

Does it suit your own agenda not to check properly, rely on the word of others and raise a stink yourself regardless?
.
If this is to be sorted then it should be investigated properly by representitives of all the parties TOGETHER including the press, and not rely on petty bickering, making claim and counter-claim.
.
But if that does not suit the agenda of any of those involved it will never happen.
[quote][p][bold]Darren Hayday[/bold] wrote: They also try and spin the line that the bad smells are from the farms.... I remember when I was the Cllr for Booker and Cressex and the smell was very bad when it was raining and also they had problems when the clamps opened - hence the reason that the last firm lost the contract here. It would be good to head a strong campaign against this site and in regards to the bad smells - just because the place is named 'High Heavens' doesn’t mean that it is allowed to omit these foul smells - I even smell it and I live down in Sands![/p][/quote]Darren, do you know for certain that the smells - as described - eminate from High Heavens? Have you followed your nose and tried to trace the source, or just stood outside you front door and guessed? OR Does it suit your own agenda not to check properly, rely on the word of others and raise a stink yourself regardless? . If this is to be sorted then it should be investigated properly by representitives of all the parties TOGETHER including the press, and not rely on petty bickering, making claim and counter-claim. . But if that does not suit the agenda of any of those involved it will never happen. geoffW
  • Score: -1

3:02pm Sat 1 Sep 12

BOOKERite says...

The people of Booker have lived with the smell of the composting facility for a long time and can tell the difference between the smells coming from the farmer's fields and the smell of the composting. WE ARE NOT STUPID AND WILL NOT BE FOBBED OFF WITH THESE EXCUSES.
.
I hereby extend an invitation to Steve Sharratt OBE to move into the immediate area of High Heavens for a week or two - but I don't suppose that would work either, he would still deny that his company are responsible.
.
Or better still, those faceless employees/councillor
s at BCC should be made to camp out on Booker Common for a week!
.
I urge everyone to phone the Environmental Agency everytime the odour occurs on 01491 828438 or 0800 807060. Do not contact High Heavens staff, they will automatically deny that they are responsible.
The people of Booker have lived with the smell of the composting facility for a long time and can tell the difference between the smells coming from the farmer's fields and the smell of the composting. WE ARE NOT STUPID AND WILL NOT BE FOBBED OFF WITH THESE EXCUSES. . I hereby extend an invitation to Steve Sharratt OBE to move into the immediate area of High Heavens for a week or two - but I don't suppose that would work either, he would still deny that his company are responsible. . Or better still, those faceless employees/councillor s at BCC should be made to camp out on Booker Common for a week! . I urge everyone to phone the Environmental Agency everytime the odour occurs on 01491 828438 or 0800 807060. Do not contact High Heavens staff, they will automatically deny that they are responsible. BOOKERite
  • Score: 1

9:27am Mon 3 Sep 12

s6blr says...

Yet another complaint just lodged after As a resident of Marlow Bottom we were treated to the stomach clearing 3 evenings of ROTTING STENCH between Wed->Sat last week. It's ONLY going to get worse when they're transferring waste there.

Call 0800 80 70 60 24-hours a day and give the Environmental Agency an earful. The facility needs to be shut down and moved!
Yet another complaint just lodged after As a resident of Marlow Bottom we were treated to the stomach clearing 3 evenings of ROTTING STENCH between Wed->Sat last week. It's ONLY going to get worse when they're transferring waste there. Call 0800 80 70 60 24-hours a day and give the Environmental Agency an earful. The facility needs to be shut down and moved! s6blr
  • Score: 1

11:49am Mon 3 Sep 12

BOOKERite says...

s6blr wrote:
Yet another complaint just lodged after As a resident of Marlow Bottom we were treated to the stomach clearing 3 evenings of ROTTING STENCH between Wed->Sat last week. It's ONLY going to get worse when they're transferring waste there.

Call 0800 80 70 60 24-hours a day and give the Environmental Agency an earful. The facility needs to be shut down and moved!
Or alternatively you can email the Agency on ics@environment-agen
cy.gov.uk
[quote][p][bold]s6blr[/bold] wrote: Yet another complaint just lodged after As a resident of Marlow Bottom we were treated to the stomach clearing 3 evenings of ROTTING STENCH between Wed->Sat last week. It's ONLY going to get worse when they're transferring waste there. Call 0800 80 70 60 24-hours a day and give the Environmental Agency an earful. The facility needs to be shut down and moved![/p][/quote]Or alternatively you can email the Agency on ics@environment-agen cy.gov.uk BOOKERite
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Mon 3 Sep 12

ArnyP_HW says...

As a resident of Clayhill, I too am being repulsed by these all too frequent odours in the immediate vicinity.

I assumed (rightly or wrongly) that the source is High Heavens.

The only thing that I know for sure is that the smell is identical to that which comes from the 15 ft high (guessing) lorries that drive up and down Clay Lane / Cressex Road. Locals will know the ones that I mean - the ones with 'steam' eminating from the cracks in the top of the container.

Now I can't in all honesty say where they come from or go to but if anyone has seen one of these vehicles enter or leave High Heavens then you have your lead right there.

Here's hoping this is resolved soon as I'm getting tired of checking the soles of my shoes for dog toot!
As a resident of Clayhill, I too am being repulsed by these all too frequent odours in the immediate vicinity. I assumed (rightly or wrongly) that the source is High Heavens. The only thing that I know for sure is that the smell is identical to that which comes from the 15 ft high (guessing) lorries that drive up and down Clay Lane / Cressex Road. Locals will know the ones that I mean - the ones with 'steam' eminating from the cracks in the top of the container. Now I can't in all honesty say where they come from or go to but if anyone has seen one of these vehicles enter or leave High Heavens then you have your lead right there. Here's hoping this is resolved soon as I'm getting tired of checking the soles of my shoes for dog toot! ArnyP_HW
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Mon 3 Sep 12

washondo says...

Perhaps it's the smell of his pants burning.
~
Not ANOTHER Steve.
Perhaps it's the smell of his pants burning. ~ Not ANOTHER Steve. washondo
  • Score: 1

8:19am Tue 4 Sep 12

s6blr says...

Last night we had to shut our windows and doors before sundown due to the stench. I called the EA on 0800 80 70 60 and filed a complaint which was taken by one of their phone agents.

Two hours later a friendly chap from the EA called me back. They had been to the site, and the STENCH "was definitely coming from the location". He then explained that the more that residents call 0800 80 70 60 and file complaints over the STENCH the more pressure it will pile on.

So, EVERYTIME you smell the stench, call 0800 80 70 60 and file a complaint. Do not hang up until you get an incident number which you should record.

The more we all call 0800 80 70 60 and FILE COMPLAINTS the more the EA will force the site to sort itself out, or revoke their permit.

That's 0800 80 70 60 for the EA. Together we can STOP THE STENCH of High Heavens!
Last night we had to shut our windows and doors before sundown due to the stench. I called the EA on 0800 80 70 60 and filed a complaint which was taken by one of their phone agents. Two hours later a friendly chap from the EA called me back. They had been to the site, and the STENCH "was definitely coming from the location". He then explained that the more that residents call 0800 80 70 60 and file complaints over the STENCH the more pressure it will pile on. So, EVERYTIME you smell the stench, call 0800 80 70 60 and file a complaint. Do not hang up until you get an incident number which you should record. The more we all call 0800 80 70 60 and FILE COMPLAINTS the more the EA will force the site to sort itself out, or revoke their permit. That's 0800 80 70 60 for the EA. Together we can STOP THE STENCH of High Heavens! s6blr
  • Score: 1

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