Withyhedge Landfill Investigation Update
We fully recognise and understand the great deal of concern there is amongst the local community surrounding Withyhedge Landfill.
We do not underestimate the impact the continuing reports of odour from the site is having on residents and visitors to the area and we are taking this matter seriously.
We are also aware of the apparent overflow from a containment pond and potential pollution caused to the Rudbaxton Brook. This matter is under investigation
Our officers are working extremely hard to ensure the landfill operators take immediate action before the Christmas break to limit impacts from the site over the festive period.
We will continue to update the community as our regulatory activities progress.
Response to reports
We have been receiving increasing numbers of reports of odour from Withyhedge Landfill in Pembrokeshire from surrounding communities since October.
Offsite odour attributed to Withyhedge Landfill has been substantiated by NRW staff on four occasions. We have also detected other odours in the area from agricultural sources and recognise other odour sources are present. We will continue with our odour assessments and are being supported by Pembrokeshire County Council in this activity.
To regulate this site and ensure compliance with its permit our regulatory officers carry out reviews of data, reports and other information provided by the operator. We also carry out site visits to see first-hand how the site is being operated.
Our regulatory officers have attended the landfill on three occasions in November and December 2023 primarily to inspect aspects of the site operation and management which could be contributing to offsite odours. These visits also identified an unauthorised emission, believed to be untreated surface water. This has been sampled and we are awaiting results. Advice and instruction have been provided to the site operator following our visits. We have reinforced the completion of certain actions agreed with the operator by the issue of an enforcement notice. We will continue to monitor the situation and escalate our response if required.
NRW officers are also investigating possible effluent pollution from the site linked to a specific event that was filmed and posted online. Unfortunately, there was a delay in this being reported to NRW. The area of the site in question was inspected on 19 December 2023 and enquiries are ongoing.
Withyhedge Landfill operates under an Environmental Permit, which requires the operators to comply with a set of rules and conditions. To comply with the permit operators must be able to explain to us and explain in their management system what measures they are using to protect people and the environment. If something goes wrong, we need to know what the operator is going to do about it.
Withyhedge Landfill’s permit specifies what types of waste can be disposed of there, and how much can be accepted, but it does not include restrictions on the origin of the waste The volume of waste the site is permitted to accept has not changed since 2011.
We are grateful to everyone that has reported issues related to this site to us to date, and hope that they are reassured that we are taking all the necessary steps to address this matter.
We encourage anyone affected by odour, or who has concerns about pollution from Withyhedge Landfill, to contact NRW and report via our 24-hour number - 0300 065 3000, or report online Natural Resources Wales / Report an incident and ensure to provide a description of the type of smell you are experiencing.