Hospital’s fly invasion blamed on dock waste site

A waste firm has told a court that is was not responsible for odour and flies that allegedly affected a Welsh hospital.

Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Ltd, based in Welshpool, was brought before Haverfordwest magistrates yesterday, facing ten charges brought by Natural Resources Wales. It has pleaded not guilty to all of them, alleged to have taken place between July 2015 and September 2017.

According to local reports, the charges relate to the operation of its waste sorting and refuse-derived fuel production, storage and export facility at Pembroke Dock.

The firm, which has a poor record of abiding by its environmental obligations, had its environmental permit partially suspended in May 2017, preventing the storage of waste. The odour and flies subsequently disappeared.

The move followed an NRW issuing an enforcement notice a year earlier, following reports of smells and flies at the site. The firm initially appealed against the notice, before abandoning the challenge in February 2017.

Sundorne now faces charges of:

  • Keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health, contrary to section 33(1)a of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • Failing to abide by environmental permit conditions on odour escaping beyond the site boundary and by not taking measures to prevent flies.
  • Failing to abide by enforcement notices.
  • Storing waste other than in accordance with an environmental permit.

The court heard that complaints about the site were received within weeks of operations starting, while an NRW substantiated claims about odours coming from the site. Broken plastic wrapping over the bales of waste had been left unrepaired and doors were left open, it was told.

Prosecuting barrister Justin Amos added that the hospital’s kitchen and one of its wards were affected by a “large volume” of flies that had not been present before 2015. Officers attending the site in March 2017 found that the pest and odour management plans were not being met, he added.

The case continues and is expected to wrap up on Friday.

Sundorne owner the Potter Group has been approached for comment.

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