SEPA Update -Lower Melville Wood Landfill

Saturday 28th March

This update covers the period from 2 March 2020 to the 27 March 2020, and identifies what steps SEPA have taken to address the odour emissions from the landfill. 

0n 2 March 2020, the site was visited by SEPA officers. 

When driving past the site on the A92 there was an odour of putrescible wastes, possibly due to the drilling activities.

It was noted that the possidrain lining material was being laid against the piggyback. A drill rig was on-site constructing the gas collection boreholes. At the eastern side of the cells, there was a faint and sporadic landfill gas odour.

The additional groundwater boreholes required on the eastern side of the site (downstream of groundwater flow) have been drilled and installed. 

A proactive odour assessment was undertaken. There was a faint landfill gas odour on the A92 between Angle Park, Sand and Gravels and Melville Lodges Roundabout.

On 26 March 2020, the site manager at Lower Melville Wood Landfill, Michael Lee, confirmed that the laying of the HDPE liner on Phase 3, Cell 2 has been completed.

All the gas collection boreholes are now drilled in the completed cell (Phase 3, Cell 2). 

There is approximately a week of work left to tie in the cap around the perimeter of the cell and make repairs to any damaged areas of the liner.

As the capping work falls under essential construction designations by the Scottish Government, this work has not stopped due to the current lockdown. 

A contractor will attend the site on Monday, 30 March 2020 to begin connecting the gas collection system. Resource Efficient Solutions will provide SEPA with an update on progress at the end of the week. 

Due to the current Coronavirus situation, the Community Council visits are cancelled.

This has also influenced the opportunities to carry out odour assessments. 


Neil Morrison 

Environment Protection Officer

Monday 2 March 2020

Since the Giffordtown Community Council meeting on 18 December 2019, SEPA have carried out the following to address the odour emissions from the landfill site:

1. Proactive odour assessments continue to be undertaken.

  • Twelve odour assessments have been carried out to date.
  • Eight odour assessments have identified offensive odours outwith the site boundary. These were detected on 27 December 2019, 30 and 31 December 2019, 8 January 2020, 27 January 2020, 2 February 2020, 4 February 2020 and 25 February 2020.  Resource Efficient Solutions have been made aware of these breaches of permit conditions.

2. A site inspection was undertaken on 13 January 2019. Issues raised following the inspection included:

  • Landfill gas escaping from the edge of the capping material on the east side and the south side.
  • A leak found in the capping of the east side of the newly capped area.
  • Insufficient cover material on the deposited wastes of the current active cell.

3. On 28 January 2020, SEPA officers served an Enforcement Notice on the operator of Lower Melville Wood Landfill. The notice requires improvement works to the capping and gas collection system to prevent the escape of landfill gas. The deadline for completion of the works is 9 March 2020.

4. A further site inspection was undertaken on the 14 February 2020. A faint odour of landfill gas was noted in the north-east corner of the site. An odour assessment carried out before the inspection did not identify any offensive odours. During the inspection, it was noted that the lining on the south flank had been damaged by the recent windy weather (Storm Ciara). It is likely that this area of plastic sheeting will have to be removed and a new area of liner welded to the southern flank.

5. Following the report of several complaints from members of the public on the late evening of Friday the 28th of February, an odour assessment was conduct on the morning of Saturday the 29th of February by SEPA. No offensive odour was detected on the Saturday morning. Weather conditions on the Friday night are likely to have played a significant role in the detection of landfill odour due to low pressure and the presence of freezing fog on Friday night.

Letham CC Comment – “In the meantime please continue to report any smells on tel:01592 776910. Or these channels

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