Residents cry foul over ‘unbearable’ smell from plant

Mosgiel resident Fred Donaldson is tired of a rendering plant stinking up the northern part of...
Mosgiel resident Fred Donaldson is tired of a rendering plant stinking up the northern part of the town. Photos: Gregor Richardson
North Taieri residents are calling for a rendering plant to be closed unless it mitigates the "disgusting" smell emanating from it.

The plant’s operating manager says the company is working to fix the problem.The plant has been  in Dukes Rd since the mid-1980s, and has been owned by the Wallace Group for the  past three years.

Resident Greg McKay, who lives about a kilometre from the plant, said it should be shut down until it stopped the smell.

"It’s not just a little bit of bad odour, it’s absolutely disgusting. The families living next to it, they go to get their washing in and it bloody stinks. The clothes smell worse than when they got them off the kids," he said.

"The smell travels a long way. It’s anywhere the wind’s going.

"People are spending a lot of money building nice houses there. It’s been going on far too long."

Helicopters Otago chief pilot Graeme Gale, who works at the airfield next to the plant, said the smell was "absolutely unbearable". 

"We shouldn’t have to deal with a smell like that. It just smells like a sewer inside our building and to be honest we’ve had it for years and we’ve had enough."

It was particularly bad during a westerly wind, he said.

"They should be shut down and told to move out of the valley unless they can fix the problem."

North Taieri resident Fred Donaldson said this week the smell was "dry-retching material".

"Yesterday [Thursday] morning it was so bad you just couldn’t stand outside."

Plant operating manager Manfredo Hintze said he was aware of the problem and the company was working to fix it.

It undertook some smell-mitigation work in 2015 and this weekend would begin a refurbishment of its biofilters for the same reason.

While that was happening it would invest in a spray for its filters which was meant to "neutralise" the smell.

"It’s priority No1.  The last thing we want is to annoy the neighbours."

Otago Regional Council environmental monitoring and operations manger Scott MacLean said the council could not comment as the matter was under investigation.

He did not answer questions regarding whether the council had issued enforcement notices or  was working with the plant to help with odour mitigation.


So, the plant's been there since the mid 80s, yep, that's where I'd choose to move next to