PE01563: Sewage sludge spreading

Rural Affairs

Petitioner: Doreen Goldie on behalf of Avonbridge and Standburn Community Council


Date Lodged: 15 April 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ban the use of sewage sludge on land and to look for alternative acceptable methods of disposal as adopted in other European countries. 

Petition History:


26 May 2015: The Committee took evidence from Doreen Goldie and Jo Hirst, Avonbridge and Standburn Community Council. The Committee agreed to invite the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Water to give evidence at a future meeting. The Committee also agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 26 May 2015

23 June 2015: The Committee took evidence from Mark Aitken, Principal Policy Officer, Land, Chris Dailly, Manager for Waste and Landfill Tax, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Mark Williams, Head of Environmental Science and Regulation and Brian Duff, Waste Manager, Scottish Water. The Committee agreed to await further information from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and seek the views of the petitioner. Link to Official Report 23 June 2015

6 October 2015: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Link to Official Report 6 October 2015 

8 December 2015: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Link to Official Report 8 December 2015

9 February 2016: The Committee agreed to defer the petition to a future meeting to allow the petitioners the opportunity to consider the report and the Scottish Government’s response. The Committee also agreed to write to the Sewage Sludge Review Group. Link to Official Report 9 February 2016

8 March 2016: The Committee agreed to include the petition in its legacy paper for consideration by the Session 5 Public Petitions Committee. In doing so, the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 8 March 2016

30 June 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 30 June 2016

29 September 2016: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the Scottish Government does not support what the petition calls for but is planning to strengthen the regulatory framework in this area. Link to Official Report 29 September 2016

Written Submissions:

If you have been affected by the spreading of sewage sludge, or wish to make comment regarding this, put your comments online.

I work in Govan, Glasgow, just along from the Shieldhall Waste Water Treatment Works. I live in Avonbridge, Falkirk. There is a constant stench from the Shieldhall Works, so much so that my colleagues and i have to hold our breath when we drive past. Regarding during the summer months I cannot begin to describe how horrific the smell can be, even inside my office building. I chose to live in Avonbridge so my family and I could enjoy a fresh rural life, within reasonable proximity to urban facilities. There is nothing like coming home to fresh air and fields surrounding your house. I am absolutely appalled that the Scottish Parliament is considering building a sewage treatment plant so close to our homes here in Avonbridge and Standburn. There is plenty of open space available in the central belt of Scotland, near the arterial road network where this could be built which would not affect people and their daily lives. I for one would seriously consider moving should these plans become reality. What right does the Scottish Government have to decide that we as tax payers have to put up with a regular stench, which I can assure you it will be. Perhaps we should ask them to come and garden in our village, hang their washing out or let their children play in our streets once it is up and running.

Nicola Thomas

0:17 on 04 Apr 2015

it is my legal right to walk on or near fields. I believe that being in the vicinity of where this sludge has been spread is a health hazard to both humans and animals.

Gerard McGuire

11:47 on 27 Mar 2015

I have experienced the dreadful nauseating stench of this sludge while walking one of the core paths in the Lionthorn area with a friend. I never want to smell it again and trust this petition will end the practice.

Isabel Fairgrieve

21:31 on 24 Mar 2015

l live several miles away from Avonbridge in Brightons and the smell can be awful

Leslie Goodchild

8:40 on 24 Mar 2015

Composting with organic waste or anaerobic digestion, utilising the methane for energy, are acceptable and highly cost effective ways of generating an end product for safe application as agricultural fertiliser. These processes should generate a net profit in addition to disposing of the sludge in a hygienic way. Theres no excuse! Old, proven technology and profitable utilisation of the valuable nutrients locked into our "waste". The scheme which was causing the issue was a total waste of resources and a scam designed to take subsidies which shouldn't be necessary in ANY way. The end users of the products created by disposing of the sludge should be paying for the privilege. THESE ARE VALUABLE NUTRIENTS USE THEM!!!!

ian wrigley

17:55 on 11 Mar 2015

The sewage sludge is not being sterilised by autoclaving to over 1000 degrees.Check Scottish Water,Holm Park ,Stornaway.

Kenneth Macleod

9:26 on 07 Mar 2015

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