A controversial scheme to power a cement works using meat and bone meal has begun - under the scrutiny of environment watchdogs. Bosses at the Lafarge plant in Hope have started a six-month trial to use meat and bone meal (MBM) as an alternative fuel source for operations at the site.
The pilot scheme was given the go-ahead by Environment Agency chiefs last year, despite residents’ concerns over smells and extra lorry traffic travelling through the village.
But agency bosses say they will be keeping a close eye on the procedure and making sure there is no fall-out for the local environment before granting a permanent licence.
An agency spokeswoman said: "We will be monitoring the trial closely to make sure the burning of MBM does not have any harmful effects.
"We would reassure residents that if the trial does not meet our strict environmental criteria, we will not grant permission for this scheme to continue.
"Our decision and reasons for it will be made public following the trial."
Company bosses have delivered information leaflets to over 4,000 households in the area - urging anyone with questions to get in touch.
Ashley Bryan, works manager at the site, said the material - which is made up of the dried remains of livestock - is already used as an alternative fuel source in 16 of the company’s plants worldwide.
He added: "Our environmental performance is one of our top priorities at the works so trials with new fuels are rigorously monitored.