What’s that smell in Corby and Kettering?

Rushton Landfill Site
Rushton Landfill Site

The bad smell that’s been hanging over southern Corby and parts of the Kettering borough for the past 24 hours is likely to be coming from the Rushton Landfill site.

The Environment Agency has confirmed that it has narrowed down the methane-type smell to the landfill site between Corby and Kettering bounded by the A6003 and Oakley Road.

Hundreds of local people had taken to social media to complain about the smell that they said kept them awake during the night and caused them to shut doors and windows.

An environment agency spokeswoman said: “We are aware of reports of odour issues in the Corby area and understand how distressing such problems can be. Odour can be caused by a number of sources, including agricultural activity and nearby waste sites.

“We have determined that some odour issues originate from the site of Rushton Landfill. We are working closely with the operator to ensure that the appropriate actions, including gas control, are taken to mitigate these issues.

“Although we are also aware that there are ongoing complaints relating to smells from a composting site at Kirby Lodge, in this case we have been able to eliminate this site as a potential source of the widespread smells currently being experienced.

“We will continue to investigate this issue and will take action to ensure odour is being controlled in line with environmental permits and laws. We would like to encourage people to continue to report odour problems to our 24/7 incident hotline 0800 80 70 60 so that we can continue to investigate and assess the impact on the local community.”

Mick George, which operates Rushton Landfill site, has been contacted by our reporters for comment.

Some Environment Agency guidance on Bad Smells:

- While some sites are always liable to emit some odour, the Environment Agency ensures that companies comply with their permits as well as environmental laws.

- Permits contain a number of conditions that the operator must comply with, including employing appropriate measures to prevent odour pollution – or minimise it where prevention is not practicable.

- We have been periodically inspecting possible sites to assess compliance with their permit conditions, ensuring odour control measures remain compliant. This work has also included 17 pro-active odour surveys.

- Although some odour issues do originate from industrial sites, landspreading of manures on agricultural land can also cause smells. Concerns about odour related to landspreading should be directed to the local authority.