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Thursday 21:00-21:30
Costing the Earth tells stories which touch all our lives, looking at man's effect on the environment and at how the environment reacts. It questions accepted truths, challenges the people in charge and reports on progress towards improving the world we live in.
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 25 November
Tom Heap
Thursday 25 November 2004
A felucca on the River Nile
The new space-age sewage treatment works at Reading have virtually eradicated the problem of bad smells

Stinking Solutions

In Herefordshire people living close to a chicken processing plant were ecstatic when they woke up one morning to discover that the sickly sweet smell of rotting feathers had disappeared. The residents of a village ten miles away were less happy to find out that the same feathers would now be processed on their doorstep. The feathers were to be disposed of in an 'environmentally-friendly' way which turned them into soil improver. But the ghastly smell had simply migrated.
The residents of Belvedere were similarly pleased when, after years of suffering the sickening stench from Crossness sewage works a judge ruled that they had some legal recourse to complain. However, months later, their lives are still being blighted by bursts of foul odour

The classic smell of the countryside is also under threat. As our lives become more and more clinical are people's sense of smell changingor are we simply becoming less tolerant of the smells that surround us, many of which will do us little or no harm at all.

Costing the Earth investigates three classic cases of smell pollution and asks what rights homeowners have to demand action or compensation.

We also hear from the United States, where pig slurry in the state of Iowa is a political issue. With 14 million pigs in the state, that's a lot of waste. So much so that scientists and geneticists have been working on the Enviropig, a pig that produces low odour waste.
Smells will always be with us - from agriculture, from sewage processing and from industry. Can a little creative science keep the problem to a minimum?
Smells and how to stop them affecting your life - Costing the Earth provides the answers.

Next week Costing the Earth heads beneath the waves to investigate the toxic timebombs lurking off the shores of the UK. 
The shores of Britain are littered with shipwrecks. From the Spanish Armada to the Cold War our rocks and reefs have lured hapless mariners to their doom. In next week's programme Alex Kirby investigates the effect these wrecks and their cargoes have on the environment.
In Scapa Flow in Orkney he watches as divers attempt to extract fuel from the Royal Oak, a ship which has been killing local birdlife since it was torpedoed in 1939. In County Antrim he joins a local beachcomber who finds bombs and ammunition boxes every week on his local strand. And at Woolwich Docks he meets John Large, an expert on Russian submarines who can pinpoint the Soviet wrecks leaching radiation into British waters.

If you would like to comment on any of the issues raised on tonight's Costing The Earth you can join the debate on the Science & Nature Environment Messageboard.
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