A new waste disposal controversy has broken out in Co Galway over the spreading of thousands of tonnes of sludge from the city's Mutton Island Sewage Treatment Plant on farmland in the east of the county.

Residents in the village of Eyrecourt want the treatment and spreading of the sludge stopped.

The company carrying out the work says it is complying with strict guidelines and the operation is not a danger to health or the environment.

The once controversial Mutton Island plant has played a major role in cleaning up Galway Bay, but the clean up of the city's sewage leaves behind 7,000 tonnes of concentrated sludge each year.

This is then transported more than 64km to Eyrecourt where it is stored, lime treated and spread on about ten farms in the area.

Local residents say the smell from the operation has destroyed their lives.

And, they say they have serious health and safety concerns about what is being spread on land close to both the Shannon and Suck rivers.

They are to meet tonight to launch a campaign to try to halt the work because they say they are not satisfied with the guarantees given to them by Galway County Council.

The Kilkenny based Land Organics company says the spreading of the sludge, which is converted into bio fertilizer, complies fully with all environmental regulations and it says it is willing to discuss all of the residents reasonable concerns.