Action taken to cut smell problem from Riverside composting site

In the past few years, I have received numerous complaints from residents who live to the immediate north of the Riverside recycling centre and composting operation about the extent of the bad smell coming from the operation from time to time.
 
I have raised these concerns on numerous occasions with the City Council’s environment staff and undertook a site visit at their request to see the composting operation.   The council promised an environmental audit  to hopefully tackle the issue to minimise any further smell issues and I have received the following update from the City Council in the past few days :

Just an update to let you know that we had our PAS 100 audit of the 14 week process a few weeks ago and we shall shortly receive our new accreditation. 

Site staff have been making PAS 100 compliant 14 week compost for some weeks now and all material through the site will be made to this standard. We aren’t able to dispatch this until we receive our certification. The 26 week process will be rendered obsolete.

We have generally found we now only require to turn windrows once during sanitisation and once during stabilisation.  Previously we would have turned windrows twice/three times during both sanitisation and stabilisation and once during maturation. This has reduced the need for turning from 6/7 turns down to 1/2.

Furthermore we have also been trialling shredding more frequently to avoid waste sitting longer on site than required. Again this has proven successful. 
We continue to have our annual bio-aerosol survey carried out and look at our control measures that we have in place. We received our latest report last month.

Finally we received our results of SEPA’s compliance scheme for each of our licensed waste management sites relating to environmental performance for 2016. As our regulator this information is made publicly available on SEPA’s website.  I am pleased to report that all waste management sites including Riverside once again have been rated excellent (SEPA assess the licence holder as fully compliant with the licence conditions).

I hope this re-enforces our efforts to minimise any environmental issues from the site.

I am hoping that this marks a real improvement in the situation going forward although I would ask residents to contact me should they have any issues regarding any smell nuisance from the site in the coming months.
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Riverside composting operation – an action plan

As residents are aware, I recently undertook a visit to the composting operation at the Riverside Civic Amenity site, following complaints from residents to the north of the site last year about bad odours emanating from the area.    
 
I have now been given a useful update on the actions the City Council is taking to hopefully ensure the issue is not repeated this year – as follows:
 
“… following on from our site visit we have had an on site visit from a technical consultant from the accreditation body regarding our composting process.   Following that meeting we are proposing the following actions to our standard operating procedures:
 
1 – Reducing the composting process from 26 weeks to either 14 or 16 weeks;
2 – Reducing windrow turning from 5-7 turns down to 3-5 turns. (less agitation of material);
3 – Increasing frequency of shredding to reduce the amount of time green waste sits at the green waste reception area (less time to decompose and begin composting); and
4 – Only screening 0-20ml compost, 0-10ml compost will no longer be produced (less screening)
 
All of the above are subject to our windrows passing the validation tests at either 14 or 16 weeks for:
 
– Pathogens;
– Potentially toxic elements;
– Stability/maturity;
– Physical contaminants and stones;
– Plant response; and
– Weed seeds and propagulesas.
 
We shall be taking samples in the next few weeks once existing windrows have matured to the 14 and 16 week age.    These will be tested by an approved lab. If we can meet the minimum thresholds in the tests we will re-validate the whole process with the accreditation body at either 14 or 16 weeks.   We are quite confident this will be achievable.   This should hopefully assist in minimising any odours migrating off site.”

Riverside composting operation – site visit

Last summer and autumn, on behalf of local residents, I again raised the problem of bad odours emanating from the composting operation at the Riverside Civic Amenity site and impacting on households to the immediate north of Riverside Avenue, mainly around the western end of Perth Road and adjacent streets.
 
At the time, the Environment Director agreed that the council’s corporate Health and Safety team review the existing arrangements and working practices.
 
Yesterday, I undertook a site visit to the composting operation to see what steps are being taken to tackle the smell issue – the Corporate Health and Safety team review is not yet complete (and I will be advised in due course of all the recommendations and actions) but meantime, the department is looking at ways of speeding up the windrows-turning process which would assist addressing the smell problem, which is welcome.
 
Here’s a couple of photos from my site visit today :
Garden waste awaiting the composting process
Windrows, as part of the composting process

Path – Perth Road to Riverside Avenue

North end of the path
Residents have raised with me the fact that the pathway running down from Perth Road to Riverside Avenue (runs behind the west side of River Crescent and the east side of Riverside Place) is overgrown.    The path is well-used – a main route on foot from Perth Road to Riverside Nature Park. 
 
I contacted the Environment Department of Dundee City Council regarding this and have been advised as follows:
 
” … the Network Team has recently upgraded this path.   During this time we were unable to gain access.   Now that this section is complete, we are hoping (if weather allows us) to get in there to start bringing this area back to standard.
 
(With regard to) the long term solution … I have a few thoughts and this will be carried out between January -March.   Again this will depend on the weather.”

New Pedestrian Crossing welcomed – Riverside Avenue

Following the reduction of the speed limit on Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue some time ago, the possibility of having pedestrian crossings on these busy roads became possible and the City Council has provided three new crossings on Riverside Drive.
 
I have long argued that one on Riverside Avenue to cover access to Riverside Nature Park would be a boon so it is great to see work on delivering this now taking place – see below :

Getting things done – Riverside Avenue

Four years ago, I highlighted complaints from constituents about the state of the ground on Dundee’s Technology Park at the entrance to the city, having received many concerns about the untidy state of the ground running along Riverside Avenue, just east of the Swallow Roundabout.   
 
As I said at the time, it is important that it is tidied as it is a prominent entrance to Dundee.   At the time, with assistance from City Council officers, the area was tidied.
 
Unfortunately, it was recently looking unsightly again – see photos from last week below :
The area above is not within the ownership of either the City Council or Scottish Enterprise (the latter own some other parts of the Techology Park grounds).   The City Council’s Director of City Development advised me at the end of last week :
 
“I am seeking to establish who the owner/s of the area of land in question is and will seek to pursue the proper maintenance of this area with them.”
 
However, meantime, I am extremely grateful to the council’s Environment Department who undertook a one-off cut of the area to ensure it looks better meantime.