Pest control officers called to Avonmouth docks as Bristol businesses plagued by flies

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Written by:   | Posted 20-May-2014 9:29

Pest control officers have been called into Avonmouth docks after residents and local businesses were plagued by flies.

The swarms of flies have been traced to recycling company Boomeco where bales of waste – waiting to be exported to be converted into energy – were damaged.

The second infestation in the area since 2011 has come as protesters stormed a site earmarked for a new biomass power plant.

Campaigners claimed they can expect to see more infestations if the proposed 100MW power plant goes ahead.

Helius Energy, the company behind the plant, denied a new plant would see a repeat of the problem.

Boomeco apologised to residents and businesses about the infestation which they said they were dealing with. The company added it was committed to being a “good neighbour”.

Residents first reported an increase in flies around homes in Avonmouth Village last Wednesday. The Miles Arms was reported to have closed by Friday as the problem worsened.

The Environment Agency was called and measures have been taken to control the infestation which was caused when sealed bales of refuse were damaged.

Residents shared pictures of flies in their homes on social media over the weekend. On Saturday Leanne Willman said: “It’s been even worse today. Totally disgusting, have bleached everything in site.”

The 38-year-old mother of two told the Bristol Post yesterday: “With children here it is not nice to think flies are crawling all over the worktops and the food. I had to close my windows and doors all day over a hot weekend to keep them out.”

Angela Story, landlady of Avonmouth Tavern, called the situation “disgusting”. She said: “We have had to buy fly zappers and fly paper to go on the walls just to control the numbers.”

Paul Gainey, an Environment Agency spokesperson, said the organisation was called by Boomeco on Wednesday. He said the company “were experiencing problems with quantities of flies accumulating on bales of waste being stored at their site, prior to export”.

He added: “Boomeco Ltd manufacture and store bales of Refuse Derived Fuel. These are mainly made up of waste packaging and are exported for energy recovery.

“The contents of the bales may contain small residues of food which could attract flies.

“Our environment officer visited the site the next day to investigate the cause of the problem.

“We have agreed with the company what steps they must take to remedy the situation. Some of the bales of waste were found to be damaged and these have now been safely removed from the site.

“The remaining bales have been sprayed with chemicals to kill the flies. In addition, other bales have been re-wrapped to ensure flies cannot get in and lay eggs on the waste. Our officers have visited the site several times to monitor their progress.”

Oliver Latter, managing director of Boomeco, said: “This is a relatively new venture for us and we have identified an issue with unloading which may have caused the problem.

“I do appreciate the patience from the residents and businesses in the area and we wholeheartedly apologise.

“We would like to think we are on top of it now and I am confident this should not happen again.”

Read more: Protestors scale fence at Bristol Helius Energy biomass power plant.

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