A waste treatment facility in Derbyshire has been banned from accepting any further waste after locals were reportedly “besieged” by a plague of flies.
The swarm was found to be so devastating that shops, including a local Sainsbury’s, were forced to close their doors due to health and safety concerns.
Residents throughout Derby have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed, while others closer to the treatment facility have reportedly fled their homes.
Shows Waste Management Ltd (SWM), which operates the site, was issued with an enforcement notice from the Environmental Agency.
David Turner, who lives close to the site, spoke to a news agency from Australia and said that:
I went away for a couple of days and left my window ajar and when I returned there were about 70 flies in one room. It’s like a horror film. It’s disgusting and vile. It’s incredibly unhygienic and makes me feel angry.
“I live in the UK in 2016 and I don’t expect to be plagued by flies. I’ve got fly strips and fly spray but you just cannot win. In the end you just have to keep the windows shut. If you open them for even ten minutes, you will get about 20 flies inside.”
Despite SWM being slapped with the ban, a row has since broken out over which company is to blame for the problem.
SWM has claimed that the infestation was caused by another waste company, Trent Valley Recycling, which had leased part of the waste site from the owners.
The company said that it would take at least 10 days to clear up the rubbish responsible, and that they now plan to sell up – with one firm offer already on the table.
Sam and Wayne Turton, owners of SWM, said that they, “just want to get out of this situation as soon as possible.”
Despite the accusations, Trent Valley Recycling has rubbished SWM’s claim and the Environmental Agency has confirmed that the responsibility lies with SWM.
A similar outbreak occurred last summer in the port of Avonmouth in Bristol, where residents were forced to eat meals under nets as flies swarmed in and around their homes.
Boomeco Ltd, the waste company partly blamed for the infestation, was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £4,800 for breaching an environmental permit.