Expert gets nosy to sniff out bad smells

THE area's three biggest odour emitters are under more scrutiny than ever to ensure smells don't linger off site and into nearby neighbourhoods.

A community forum cleared up a mystery last month when independent odour expert Terry Schultz unveiled survey findings recently conducted.

Eastern Creek Landfill, the nearby Global Renewables UR3R facility and SITA at Kemps Creek will have their licences varied after they were identified as the main contributors.

Mr Schultz and The Odour Unit team did 30,000 tests in 12 odour surveys from September 3-11 in the morning, afternoon and evening periods at nine waste and recycling facilities.

They found six facilities had not contributed to the problem.

Management at the three identified odour emitting sites must implement odour reduction programs, engage an independent odour expert to review their operations on a monthly basis, conduct odour surveys on and off their premises from this month and participate in a follow-up odour study to be conducted by The Odour Unit in six months.

Representatives from the three odour emitting sites updated residents on what they're doing to minimise odours off-site.

"We are in the early phases of fixing the problem," EPA chairman Barry Buffier said. "There's not one single site that's the sole cause of the problem but we have a better handle on the situation."

The EPA will investigate more after residents at the forum expressed concern about Enviroguard Erskine Park.

"While the odour expert company did not detect any noticeable smells coming from Enviroguard, the EPA has undertaken to work with residents living close to Enviroguard to resolve issues relating to noise and out-of-hour truck movements," a spokeswoman said.

The site will also undergo an unannounced visit from independent odour testers.

St Clair resident Phil Vella believes the smell is coming from Enviroguard and not Eastern Creek Landfill like most people think.

"I've worked at all the sites," he said. "The smell from Enviroguard is so bad you can't open the windows or front door."

Penrith councillor and affected resident Greg Davies congratulated the EPA and the waste companies on their efforts since August.

"What I'm annoyed about is that I wrote to you (the EPA) about this as mayor in 2003 and nothing was done," he said at the forum.

"What has been done in the last eight weeks should have been done back then."

■ Do you still get the smell? Call us on 4722 8205 or email kstevens@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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