Makes scents: Ontario County leaders addressing landfill smell concerns

Local News

SENECA, N.Y. (WROC) — Some people living in Ontario County have been reporting a strange odor coming from the landfill there over the past couple of years. It’s located in the town of Seneca on state routes 5&20. The county has received two violations from the Department of Environmental Conservation. County leaders have a plan to hopefully get rid of the smell for good.

Driving by the landfill, the smell is hard to ignore. Some people who live nearby are getting sick of it.

Louis Guard is an Ontario County supervisor representing the city of Geneva. He loves where he lives but said he occasionally smells the odor from his house.

“I try to be as transparent as possible and tell people exactly what I know because I like to tell people I’m in this with them. My wife and I live here, we’re raising a family here, we’re concerned about the future of the area. Anything that’s a threat to this region or our quality of life is something that concerns me,” he said.

Experts said the odor is hydrogen sulfide gas. After being dumped into the landfill, trash decomposes. This creates a liquid that gives off this gas. The landfill operating company, Casella Waste, used drones to determine where the gas is escaping from.

Excavators are now up on the landfill working on digging a trench into the waste to place additional gas piping, which will capture the gas and the liquid and allow each to be disposed of properly.

Kristine Singer is the chairman of the Planning and Environmental Quality Committee.

“There’s an awful lot of technology and chemistry to the whole thing…It has been stressful, for some people in close proximity I’m assuming far more stressful,” Singer said.

She said this isn’t a quick fix- and it’s hard to get the construction done quickly in this type of weather. Singer said once the piping is complete it will take four to six weeks to show a reduction in the gas being given off.

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