A company at the centre of a dispute with Angus residents over reports of a “mouldy, rancid smell” and a plague of flies emanating from their premises has promised to remove household waste from its warehouse, for the time being.
Rix Shipping Scotland Limited, which operates at Montrose Port, has pledged it is doing “everything within our power” to resolve the situation.
More than 20 residents protested against the blight on their neighbourhood earlier this month as they feared facing a third summer barricaded in their homes near the harbour.
Angus Councillor Bill Duff, SNP member for Montrose and district, met residents to hear their concerns and on Monday visited the port with officers from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and Angus Council to meet with Piggins-Rix management.
He said: “We discussed the recent complaints, learned how Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) is handled and stored, observed measures taken to suppress the smell and treat insects and spent a considerable amount of time in the warehouse.
“Rix explained they have stopped accepting RDF at present. The current stock has been held longer than usual.”
He said the company agreed to expedite a ship to remove the RDF in the warehouse, and Angus Council environmental health staff will investigate alternative sources of insects.
He continued: “Householders and businesses are asked to call the council Access line to report insects.
“This will allow environmental health staff to collect live samples to aid their investigation.
“We have to be clear – Rix has promised to expedite a ship to remove the current stock of material, which has been there longer than normal, which may have exacerbated the problem.
“They have stopped taking any more shipments at the moment. That waste has been going to landfill in Aberdeen, rather than export it to Sweden via Montrose, but they will look to resume that.
“We need to be careful we don’t jump to conclusions as there may be other possible sources of flies.
“The flies could be coming in to the warehouse as they are attracted by the material, or they could have been in the material. We need to be certain.”
Protestor Alison Dunlop, 48, of Provost Reid’s Road, welcomed the developments.
She said: “I think this is brilliant. I am grateful the company is doing something but disappointed it got to this stage.”
A spokesperson for Rix Shipping Scotland Ltd, said: “We had a positive meeting with Councillor Duff and would like to thank him for his time.
“We understand the issue is of concern to local residents and we’re doing everything within our power to resolve it.”
An Angus Council spokesman said: “Concerns were raised by the local elected member and officers subsequently joined partners on a site visit to the port. This remains a matter for our colleagues at SEPA.”