New Earth Solutions composting plant at Sharpness Docks to close temporarily
Updated 9:17am Tuesday 28th January 2014 in News By Daniel Chipperfield, senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge
A COMPOSTING facility in Sharpness is suspending its operations for the foreseeable future as contracts to process waste have dried up.
New Earth Solutions is temporarily ceasing its activities at the site near Sharpness Docks as less and less waste is coming from its site in Avonmouth to process.
As the facility is largely used as an overflow site, the reduction in the amount of waste coming through has left the building unviable to keep running for the time being.
Operations Director Peter Mills told the Gazette said it was not closing the site but could not say when it may resume processing waste into compost.
“We do not have the contracted tonnage to keep it operational,” he said.
“We’re seeing less and less material coming into Sharpness as an overflow facility but the current intention is to keep the site as it is configured at the moment.
“Contract opportunities can become available at any time and can take between three months to a year to sort out."
Mr Mills said they were looking at alternative uses for the site and they were going through a consultation process at the moment with the four full time employees working there.
A skeleton team will continue at the site to get rid of what waste is left, which is expected to be completed by the end of February.
New Earth Solutions leases the land from the Canal and River Trust and took over the building from failed company Bioganix in February 2009 when it was around a year old.
It has the capacity to take on 48,000 tonnes of segregated green and kitchen waster per year, turning it into compost for agricultural purposes.
Problems of fly infestations and foul odours emanating from the building have plagued local residents for years and led to the closure of the site twice in six months in 2011 but in October 2013 had been given a clean bill of health by the Environment Agency.
Berkeley Cllr Liz Ashton said she was not sure what was going to happen to the site.
“I do not know what is going to be made of the building because a huge investment went into it,” she said.
“It is a shame really, I hope they get something sorted soon.”