"It started about two or three months ago" says a horror stricken local resident "There were swarms of big black flies coming into my house, flying all over the food, everywhere, and they just won't go. It's been a very hot summer and you can't open the windows and doors. Last night I spent half an hour swatting them after I got back from work. It's disgusting, awful… "
If you look down the side streets towards the back of the University of Salford buildings like Humphrey Booth House you can see this mountain of rubbish looming over the Crescent near the start of Chapel Street. The closer you get the full horror of the flies comes into view.
There's fly traps everywhere along the University buildings facing the mountain – bags attached to every wall and fence absolutely stuffed with the dead and dying insects. Hundreds and hundreds of them.
Meanwhile, local businesses have seen customers flee and residents say it's like living in a mini-monster movie. On hot days, a gross stench hangs over the area that is right at the heart of Salford Council's much trumpeted £650million Chapel Street regeneration area.
Indeed, Chapel Street, just a few hundred metres from the rubbish site, was awarded the title of, what Salford Council is calling, `the nation's most attractive road' – an award given in the 2013 Street Design Awards as Best Pedestrian Environment.
Even more galling is that residents told us that the mound was built up partly by rubble being brought from the Vimto Gardens development, which is a public/private English Partnership scheme, backed by Salford City Council – while councillors have been involved with trying to stop the rubbish tip's growth, which apparently is five times over the legal limit.
"It's a bit of a contradiction that the Council is involved in it" said a resident "I'm all for the regeneration but they need to have a bit of respect. If the Vimto developer had to live here I'm sure he wouldn't put up with it. We're all looking forward to the new apartments and shops but they need to have a bit more respect for the people who are living here."
In February this year, the site on Upper Wharf Street, run by Land Restoration (Northern) Limited, was audited by the Environment Agency which concluded that it was a disgrace…"non inert waste not being stored on concrete, mixed light weight household commercial and industrial waste (HCI Waste) in excess of the permitted levels and the Environment Management Plan not being fit for purpose".
The company subsequently submitted a new Environment Management Plan and treated the site with pesticide in June - but the Environment Agency produced a report in July stating that "We are not satisfied with the company's suggested deadlines and have issued an enforcement notice with what we consider to be appropriate time scales. We have told the company they need to be fully compliant with their licence conditions by 31 November 2013".
The report added that "flies were still an issue" and concluded that "we will continue to monitor the company to make sure they are taking action to reduce flies, odour and dust from the site."
However, surrounding businesses and residents were not happy with the November deadline… "Three months to sort it out is not good enough" a local resident told us "The flies are atrocious and the smell walking up and down the Crescent is horrific"
Another told us that "people are going through 15 fly strips a day, we're inundated. There's residents trying to keep the flies off their new born babies…Residents and businesses are rightly asking why this situation has been allowed to occur, and cannot see how the processing of this type of waste on this scale fits with the aspirations for our neighbourhood."
On Wednesday a meeting took place with councillors and the Environment Agency, after which the November deadline was suddenly ditched and the company has been instructed to stop accepting and processing the waste from 14th August.
An Environment Agency Spokesperson told the Salford Star…"We can confirm that we have notified Land Restoration (Northern) Limited of our decision to suspend acceptance or deposit of waste from 18:00 on 14 August 2013. This follows extensive investigations into odour, dust and fly issues in the area around the site."
The Salford Star tried to speak to a representative of Land Restoration (Northern) Limited but the company didn't want to comment.