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Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER
Published: 21 August 2009

Gary Doolan
Smell from £60m rubbish dump sparks clean-up call

UNION officials have demanded a major clean-up at a £60million rubbish dump which is so smelly it has got up the noses of residents and workers.
GMB trade union branch secretary Gary Doolan warned that unless the Islington Council waste and recycling centre in Hornsey Street, Holloway, was cleaned up: “There will be more rats inside than employees.”
The centre is owned by the council but under the terms of a finance deal is jointly run by private operator Enterprise Islington and North London Waste, a consortium of local authorities.
The union also demanded to know why the centre – built in 2004 as part of the Arsenal Emirates development deal – was sited so close to what is mainly social housing.
Mr Doolan, whose members work at the site, said food waste for recycling was not being taken away immediately.
“They need a thorough cleaning programme,” Mr Doolan said. “They could do it over the weekend. The floors need to be water-jetted down. A bit of disinfectant wouldn’t hurt either.
“The reason they are not doing that already is the cost and the time involved. But it would certainly help get rid of the smell.”
Mr Doolan added that many of his members had complained about the pong. “It is rank in there some days,” he said. “I had a shop steward contact me last week. He said: ‘You are not going to believe the smell. It is disgusting.’
“The filth on the area where the vehicles dump the rubbish is two inches thick in places.”
Labour councillor Barry Edwards is supporting the residents and workers who want the site cleaned up.
He said: “The site definitely does smell when it is warm. People from as far away as Hillmartin Road can smell it.”
He thought the dump should never have been built so close to homes. “Whether it was by design or not, people in the social housing are the ones who suffer,” he said.
Angie Passingham, chairwoman of Ringcross Estate Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said that when the centre was built there were no problems. “It is supposed to be a sealed, state-of-the-art complex,” she added. “But nowadays there is almost always a smell of rotting rubbish.”
The centre handles all the household waste collected in Islington, half the rubbish collected from neighbouring Camden and about 20 per cent of waste from Haringey. It is where the council’s fleet of rubbish trucks is cleaned and serviced.
Liberal Democrat environment chief Councillor Greg Foxsmith said: “The council takes odour management at the waste recycling centre very seriously and works hard to stop residents being affected.
“We make sure dustcarts are cleaned and air filters changed, and carry out odour monitoring tests. We’re aware there have been complaints from an address in Stock Orchard Street about odour and our environmental health team and staff at the centre are investigating. If there is a problem, we’ll take steps to sort it out.”

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