Greyhound fined €14,000 over stench at waste plant

EPA detected serious smell problem at site in Clondalkin, west Dublin

 Brian Buckley, a director of Greyhound Recycling and Recovery. File Photograph: Collins Courts

Brian Buckley, a director of Greyhound Recycling and Recovery. File Photograph: Collins Courts

 

Waste management firm Greyhound Recycling has been fined €14,000 for failing to prevent emissions of foul odours from its main storage facility.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detected a serious smell problem after inspecting the storage site at Crag Avenue, in Clondalkin, Dublin, in 2013.

The company, which has since spent about €1m in upgrading its facilities, was fined by Judge John O’Neill at Dublin District Court after it pleaded guilty to breaking waste management regulations.

Meanwhile the EPA withdrew charges against Greyhound’s directors, brothers Michael and Brian Buckley.

During the hearing, EPA enforcement officer Lisa Maher told prosecution solicitor Maeve Larkin that inspections were carried out between August and November 2013 following 22 complaints from neighbouring businesses. Upwind and downwind of the plant there were offensive odours capable of “making hair and clothes stink”.

A stockpile of household waste contaminated Greyhound’s building for recyclables such as plastic or cardboard. Rodents and flies were also observed in that building. In the main storage building the “odour abatement system” was not working correctly and was contributing to the problem.

There were some cracks found in floors which need to be able to prevent leaks into the ground.

She agreed with Louis McEntaggart SC, defending, that the company officials were co-operative in the legal proceedings. However, she said there had been a delay in completing the work at the plant.

The court heard the company had two prior convictions arising from EPA prosecutions and these also related to odours impairing the environment and the incorrect use of waste storage buildings.

Mr McEntaggart asked Judge John O’Neill to note that the company processes waste for 200,000 households.

It spent at least €800,000 on improving their facility. This involved “significant engineering work” and the company will also pay the EPA’s costs, he said.

Fining the waste firm, Judge O’Neill said the situation must have been most unpleasant for local businesses but he was satisfied the defendant company has taken positive steps, “albeit late in the day”.

Following the case the company released a statement saying: “Greyhound Recycling accepts the court’s ruling and continues to take steps to ensure best standards in waste recycling. Greyhound has invested more than €1 million in world class odour management/abatement systems and has employed extra staff to manage the new systems. The company did not financially profit or benefit in relation to these breaches.”