50 signatures reached
To: Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President UK & Ireland, Veolia UK, James Meechan, Recycling Manager, Veolia Water Organics Recycling Ltd, Veolia UK
Stop the use of human waste based fertilisers on East Lothian farmland !
We ask Estelle Brachlianoff and Veolia UK to immediately cease the use of THC or any other product originating from sewage sludge as fertiliser in East Lothian.
Why is this important?
For the last week or so, my family and I have been living in a cloud of chemical fumes so obnoxious that it's affecting our life considerably. We live in rural East Lothian and the air pollution has been caused by the use of a human waste based fertiliser which is being spread on local farmland.
Five days on from the start of the spreading of this treated human waste on fields around our house, my family and I are still enduring the most vile stench, the fumes are making us feel light-headed and nauseous, and despite keeping all of our doors and windows closed, the odour pervades our house.
We have found out that the resource management company, Veolia, is responsible for the production and spreading of this product, known as Thermal Hydrolysis Cake (THC). THC is basically human waste (and anything else which goes down a drain, including industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals) which has been processed to make it "suitable" for use as an agricultural fertiliser. However, although the processing destroys the majority of the pathogens in the waste, it still contains potentially environmentally damaging contaminants.
Whilst it is currently legal to use THC in Scotland, the use of THC or other fertilisers originating from sewage sludge cannot legally be applied without strict testing due to the potential toxicity from the presence of heavy metals.
There is also some evidence to show that the thermal hydrolysis process does not destroy prions ( excreted by victims of CJD ), radioactive material ( excreted by patients treated with nuclear medicines ) and a whole host of other toxic chemicals and pharmaceuticals which enter the sewage system on a periodic and unpredictable basis and are then concentrated in the process of water extraction to form sewage sludge, which is further concentrated to make the THC.
As well as the vile smell, it is unknown what the effects on humans are of short term inhalation of the THC particles during and after spreading. It is also unknown what effects the water run off from the treated fields will have on the ecosystem in the long term.
If the aim is to add organic matter to the soil in as sustainable a manner as possible, there are many, many alternative products that can be used as an alternative to THC. East Lothian is one of the most beautiful counties in the country and has a precious and sensitive ecosystem. The most valuable resources we have are our healthy soil, pure air and clean waterways.
We therefore ask Estelle Brachlianoff and Veolia UK to immediately cease the use of THC or any other product originating from sewage sludge as fertiliser in East Lothian.