Air quality threat from Lewisham waste treatment centres

A new report by Kings College London finds that Lewisham borough's waste treatment centres at Mercury Way, near Millwall FC, have a serious effect on air quality in the area around it:

The contribution of the industrial source represented 27% of the mean PM10 daily concentration measured at the AQMS in Lewisham. 

Although the concentration measured met the EU Daily Limit Value, the industrial source increased the number of daily exceedances from 5 to 25 days compared to urban background AQMSs. When wind blew from the waste treatment sites it added on average 18.4 μg∙m‐3 to the PM10 urban background concentration.

This contribution was slightly larger than the one from road‐traffic sources as measured at RB3 (13.7 μg∙m‐3) and at RB4 (13.2 μg∙m‐3). The industrial sources had a marked weekly and daily pattern, with elevated levels from 7 am to 6 pm from Monday to Friday.

The findings were based on measurements taken between February 2010 and September 2011.

The impact on air quality seems to be fairly localised and the comparison with emissions from traffic highlights that pollution from cars is the real challenge for air quality in the capital. But for the residents of neighbouring homes, this raises serious questions.


Ian on the Hill said...

Nearly as bad a the odour of stale grease from our beloved fried rat emporiums.

Anonymous said...

It's a good honest rubbish tip - I go there regularly in my car.

Danja said...

I don't think it is Lewisham's site which is likely to be the problem. There are several waste transfer stations run by skip and waste companies in that area - must be at least 4 or 5 different companies.

Mb said...

I don't trust air I can't see.

Gema said...

I used to live near the incinerator - on certain days you couldn't put washing out to dry or open the windows as there would be tiny flecks of ash in the air and the various odd smells - the worst being a chemically yogurty smell - would put me off sitting in the garden. It could well have been other companies burning waste in the area but as I was living just round the corner from the incinerator I assumed it was them.

steve doole said...

I've read a claim that New Cross ward has the highest infant mortality in the country. The general trend for places listed showed good decline over 20 years, but increase when the SELCP incinerator started.

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