There are two waste sites at Sutton Courtenay which have environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency: a landfill and a waste composting facility. Both are operated by FCC environment (formerly the Waste Recycling Group).
Waste composting facility
We received numerous complaints from local residents about the smells from the waste composting facility during summer 2012. The facility turns organic waste into compost, and its environmental permit allows up to 75,000 tonnes per year.
Our main role is to ensure the site is operated in a way that does not cause harm to the environment or to human health. We are working with FCC to make sure that the site keeps to the conditions in its environmental permit, which includes managing odours.
FCC is continuing to improve practices on site following our advice and guidance. After complaints fell during winter 2011-12, they began to rise again from June 2012. We increased our odour surveys and incident attendance, and substantiated several complaints.
FCC has been:
- minimising the need to agitate the decomposing material, which gives off an odour;
- trialling other methods of aeration;
- updating working procedures to reflect improvements for odour management.
We have also asked FCC to rethink the methodology for the site and substantially improve their odour management plan.
Materials recycling facility
We are expecting to receive an application from FCC for a third environmental permit at Sutton Courtenay, related to a materials recycling facility. This already has planning permission from Oxfordshire County Council, and the site is under construction. However, the facility cannot begin to operate without an environmental permit from us.
Community liaison meetings
More information about odour and composting
For more information about our work at Sutton Courtenay, please email us:
If you have a complaint about the smell, please call our 24-hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Calls are free from a landline.
If you have questions about health issues, then please contact the Thames Valley Health Protection Unit by phone on 0845 279 9879 or by email: