Probe over fly infestation

Hindley Green Business Park
Hindley Green Business Park

THE Environment Agency has reprimanded a Wigan company after their waste storage operations caused an infestation of flies.

Blakeley’s Waste Management, on the Hindley Green Business Park, is storing compressed rubbish in its unit in breach of the terms of a permit to store paper and plastic waste there.

Other companies with units on the business park and local councillors say this shouldn’t be happening and have complained to Wigan Council, saying that the area around the business park is being plagued by clouds of flies feeding on the waste.

ContiTech, which also operates on the Hindley Green site, claims its canteen has had to be shut on more than one occasion due to the insects, and shifts of workers have also had to be sent home. It reported the issue to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Wigan Council, before the matter was passed to the Environment Agency’s (EA) Environmental Protection team.

The problems began after letting agents permitted Blakeley’s to store bales of dried mixed recyclables (DMR’s), made up of compressed cartons and tins, in the unit, a type of waste it did not have a permit to keep on site.

The Environment Agency (EA) also said there was too much waste being stored at the Hindley Green site after visiting the premises, before ordering the firm to seal the building to prevent odour leakages and preventing more DMRs being delivered until this was done.

Hindley Green councillor Bob Brierley has also written to the authorities over the issue of the storage facility.

He said: “I have received a number of complaints from residents about the flies, which I understand are gathering due to the storage of this waste.

“I don’t see why they can’t just hire wagons to clear the waste away. I am organising the Brunswick fun day in Hindley Green next month, which is in its third year and includes a BBQ, and this work needs to be done before the event.

“This needs to be treated urgently because Hindley Green has run out of fly spray.”

The EA have now served a notice on the firm, giving it until July 31 to clear away the waste in an appropriate manner and put in place measures to minimise odours and deal with the flies. Blakeley’s can appeal, but a pest control firm was reported to be on site.

ContiTech was approached but declined to comment. Blakeley’s had also not replied at the time of going to press.