Cumbrian lorry caught up in ‘Stop the Stink’ protest

PROTESTERS blocked off a line of delivery lorries during a demonstration, including a truck from a Barrow business. Activist staged a blockade to the landfill of the Walleys Quarry landfill site in Staffordshire, during a ‘Stop the Stink’ protest.

50 activists were involved who took position at the entrance to the site, blocking three lorries in the process. One of the lorries stuck by the blockade belonged to the Barrow business JJC Waste Management.

Protesters have targeted the area which is at the centre of a long-running row over noxious gas fumes which a local GP has labelled as “torture” for residents. The demonstration took place on Wednesday morning which saw some settling into camping chairs and tying “Stop the Stink” banners to fences. Most of the activists were local residents who lived within a mile of the landfill on Cemetery Road who opposed its continued operation.

Three lorries were prevented from entering the site while local police tried to manage the situation. JJC provides waste management service for Cumbria and the South Lakes, as well as skips for hire in Barrow, South Lakes, Lancaster, and Furness Peninsula area. The company also specialises in road sweeper services, as well as being demolition contractors and scrap metal merchants.

JJC were approached but declined to comment on the incident. Some of the signs carried by the protesters read “Whara pen ‘n’ ink” and had images of superheroes with the caption “toxic waste does not give you superpowers”. There was support from passing drivers, who honked horns, or in the case of a passing ice cream van, played its jingle of The Entertainer, in support.

A report commissioned by the Environment Agency (EA) found levels of a gas – hydrogen sulphide – recorded at the site had exceeded the guidelines set out by the World Health. Though it also said any long-term health risks were likely to be small. Dr Paul Scott, a senior partner at the local Silverdale Village GP surgery, who was at the protest, said the stench was causing “stress” to many of his patients.

“I would almost call it a form of torture,” he said.

“Because if you were told that every second, third or fourth day, you were going to have sleepless nights, and they’d have all the effects from that – any other country in the world, they’d step in.”

Nathan Wint, who set up Stop the Stink, said: “That smell you can smell now, that really strong eggy smell is what we get in our homes and it sticks in the home, and you cannot get it out.”