The “Sudbury pong” could become a thing of the past if a new process to eliminate a stench from a town factory proves a success.
Complaints have longed been aimed in the direction of Nestlé Purina Pet Care on Chilton Industrial Estate for the foul smells emanating from its pet food factory.
Those living in close proximity claim the odour, which is usually at its strongest during the warmer months, leaves them unable to enjoy their gardens and, instead, are forced indoors, reluctant to open windows.
In response, the factory has spent more than £250,000 in the last 12 months on equipment and monitoring devices. It has also held meetings with residents and town officials, the latest of which was on Friday.
“As part of the ongoing improvement work relating to odour management at the site, we have been working to an agreed action plan with the Environmental Agency (EA), most of which has been completed or is currently under way,” said factory manager Kevin Shrimpton.
“Despite the improvement work already carried out, a number of complaints are still being received.
“Therefore, as advised during the first liaison group meeting, engineers from the company and independent environmental specialists have been involved in a detailed technical assessment of the residue odour from the abatement processes and how that could potentially be eliminated.”
Mr Shrimpton said that, from these assessments, the company believed it had come across an innovative “odour neutralisation process”.
This involves using an organic natural oil product which captures odour molecules and neutralises them. The method is due to be installed and the results assessed in the coming months.
“Should the trial prove to be successful, the process will be fully adopted subject to EA agreement,” said Mr Shrimpton.
“We hope this reassures residents of our continued commitment to achieving the best possible odour control at our factory.”