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The Jõelähtme landfill must reduce odour nuisance

Measurements carried out at the Jõelähtme landfill of the Tallinn Recycling Centre (Tallinna Jäätmete Taaskasutuskeskus) showed that the level of odour nuisance emanating from the landfill exceeds the permitted norm and the company must reduce it.

A study conducted by the Estonian Environmental Research Centre (EKUK) established that in the villages of Ülgase and Kostiranna, the level of odour nuisance exceeds the permitted norm, i.e. occurs on more than 15 per cent of days in a year.

In other villages in the vicinity, the incidence of odoriferous substances was less than 15 per cent. Concentrations of sulphur compounds, including thiols, were at levels below the limit of quantification and the measurement results of other pollutants did not exceed the air quality limit values.

‘If measurements of odoriferous substances show that the 15% odour hour limit has been exceeded, the company is obliged to draw up an action plan for reducing odoriferous substances. The Environmental Inspectorate has initiated administrative proceedings to issue the necessary precept. The landfill must find solutions to reduce odoriferous substances and submit an action plan to the Environmental Board which will assess the effectiveness of the proposed measures,’ said Allar Leppind, Head of the Environmental Protection Department of the Environmental Inspectorate.

According to Riina Vaht, Integrated Permit Specialist of the Environmental Board, EKUK has clearly mapped the possible sources of odour with their measurements. As the next step, the Tallinn Recycling Centre can start developing and implementing an action plan for the elimination of the sources of odour. ‘The aim is to minimise odour nuisance in the area. However, it must be understood that this is a landfill, where a large portion of the deposited waste comprises unsorted household waste,’ said Vaht. She added that people themselves can help reduce odoriferous substances and support recycling by sorting their waste.

Complaints about the odour nuisance from the landfill have been received for a long time. The number of complaints increased in 2018.

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