New chimneys to combat smells from a controversial Lancashire waste plant will soon be complete.
Four 25m chimneys, or ‘stacks’ from the Farington Waste Technology Park, are now up, with the fifth due to be completed next week.
Bosses at the site say the situation is now “much improved” with complaints from residents about smells in November down to one.
Some £1.2m has been spent trying to fix problems with odour at the site, off Sustainability Way, since it opened last year.
Work has now been carried out fixing the plant’s bio-filters, which organically break down smells before they are released into the air, and the new chimneys are the last phase of works expected to solve the problem for good.
At a meeting with residents this week, Paul Lonsdale, special projects manager at Global Renewables Lancashire, which runs the site under a £320m contract with Lancashire County Council, said: “From a peak of complaints in summer, in November we have had only one substantiated complaint.
“Our bio-filters are working better than they have ever worked and we know the dispersion from the new stacks is just much better.”
He said work was now on to help improve relationships in the community after the problems.
Mr Lonsdale added: “We are fixing the odour and are going to start to make a more positive impact in the community. We’re a big employer and we have a responsibility.”
County Coun Mike Otter chairs the group set up to decide how a £100,000 community grant made from deductions in council payments to the waste giant will be spent.
He said: “We have had two meetings and it has been agreed to leaflet drop all the properties in Farington for suggestions of possible uses of the community fund.
“I want something good to come out of something bad, and I want to see something that lasts.
“It’s moving slowly, but I’d rather go slow and get it right.”