A MOUNTAIN of tin cans, many containing rotting food remains, at a recycling centre has been identified as the source of swarming flies that have made life a misery for a community’s residents.

Furious Jennifer Smith, from Walter Grove, Sutton contacted the Star after a night’s sleep under a mosquito net trying to escape the hordes of flies that have invaded homes.

After 10 days of suffering an angry 33 year-old Jennifer said: “I have spent a fortune on fly sprays, fly bombs, strips, sticky rolls and other fly killers but still my house is full of flies.

“Why on earth has an operation that recycles tinned cans still with rotten food in them been allowed to operate a stone’s throw from a housing estate?

“I have 20 fly strips and need to keep continually changing them because they fill up fast. I have to use a vacuum cleaner every hour to remove hundreds of dead flies from my floors. The strips were catching 105 flies an hour!

“I’m stressed out, I feel itchy and very angry.”

St Helens Star: ITCHY AND ANGRY: Jennifer Smith with some of the dead flies that were caught at her home

  • ITCHY AND ANGRY: Jennifer Smith with some of the dead flies that were caught at her home

After being inundated with phone calls a St Helens Council spokesman said: “Following complaints from local residents about significantly increased numbers of flies in the area, we helped the Environment Agency to identify the EMR recycling site in Reginald Road as the source of the problem.

“A stockpile of around 200 tonnes of tin cans, many containing food residue, was identified as the cause. The Environment Agency, which regulates the site, has now ensured that these tins have been removed.

“The number of flies should decrease dramatically over the next few days, but until then we would urge residents to ensure they take basic hygiene precautions – including washing hands and ensuring all food waste is bagged or sealed.”

The Environment Agency has a hotline for anyone whose home is affected and said it was aware of the fly infestation at the EMR site A spokesman said: “Our officers have been on site and have advised that the company undertake a pest control management plan.

“We understand this has been unpleasant for nearby residents and we urge anyone still affected by the flies to report this to our 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

The Star contacted EMR Recycling headquarters at Warrington and asked them to comment on the situation but had not received a reply by the time we went to press.