Waste Management and Odour

Odour nuisance is inherently associated with waste management facilities, the majority of which go to great lengths to minimise odour impacts.

Think about the traditional facilities that are associated with odour nuisance – the clear majority of the odours are generated from waste products – wastewater and offal from an abattoir, municipal waste at a landfill, food and garden organics (FOGO) and grease trap waste at a composting facility. These materials are inherently odorous and become more odorous with time through the compounds generated through rotting and putrefaction.

An increasing amount of facilities with innovative waste management technologies are being built as governments push directives to conserve resources through initiatives such as reduce, reuse, recycle and both the Energy Union Framework Strategy and Circular Economy that promote innovation in waste-to-energy technology. This reduces the traditional practices including sending material to landfill.

New innovative technologies adopted on an industrial-scale for the treatment of waste streams, such as;

  • the pyrolysis of tyres and waste plastic,
  • the separation of waste motor oil, greases and other lubricants into recycled and purified fuel oils, and,
  • the gasification of municipal solid waste and sludges,

can increase amount of odorous compounds generated from the raw waste product.

Waste processing facilities often incorporate waste transfer stations to transfer small waste loads to bulk transportation vehicles. Both processing and centralised collection facilities are often located close to urban areas for reasons including economic feasibility (e.g. reduce transportation costs of household collection vehicles) and proximity to infrastructure such as major roads for bulk transportation. This presents the problem of exposing people living near these facilities to adverse odour impacts if odour emissions are managed inadequately.

A fundamental part of environmental management is to understand the risk of adverse odour impacts. Proponents of waste management facilities require clarity on the potential to generate odorous emissions from raw materials and associated production processes and the level of abatement that is required to sufficiently minimise emissions.

To determine how the emissions are likely to affect receptors in the vicinity of the facility, the correct tools must be used. A dispersion model will only produce representative results if;

the characterisation of meteorological conditions near the facility is representative and if the model is able to determine the critical impacts that can lead to odour nuisance (e.g. emissions under poor dispersion conditions such as low wind or calms).

A modelling assessment that is not representative can inadequately characterise likely impacts. If complaints occur, repairing relationships with neighbours can take years and band-aid solutions provide only temporary relief before more permanent solutions can be implemented at usually higher cost.

Katestone has worked on a wide variety of projects across the globe that have characterised emissions from complex sources and build robust facility emission models.

Models are derived from information such as the process expertise of the client, mass balances applied to materials and processes and from the extensive database of information held by Katestone. Katestone can then implement models that vary from simplistic traditional dispersion models that assume uniform met conditions across the entire modelling domain to modern complex models that characterise the 3-dimensional variations across the modelling domain and at elevations above the ground. The basis for selecting a model is clearly articulated and its execution is done in accordance with relevant standards and guidance.

Contact us today to see how our perspective can enhance your understanding of your project.

Odour by Industry

Katestone odour experts are experienced with a variety of industries including:

– Intensive agriculture (poultry, piggery, feedlot)
– Utilities (wastewater, sewage)
– Food Processing
– Mining, oil and gas
Waste management (landfill, composting, incineration)
– Rendering/abattoirs
– Asphalt production
– Industrial/manufacturing
– Foundries

Where are we?

Contact Katestone

Head Office: Level 4/154 Melbourne St, South Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Phone: +61 7 3369 3699

Ireland Office: Office 5a, Portlaoise Enterprise Centre, Clonminam Industrial Estate, Portlaoise, Co Laois, Ireland
Phone: +353 (87) 365 6879