Seneca Falls leadership asking for action over smell from landfill

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Dump on Salcman Road also provides employment, tax breaks for area

SENECA FALLS & WATERLOO, NY (WROC-TV)

Ask Seneca Falls and Waterloo residents what their first reaction is to the ever-growing dump off of Route 414, and you’ll likely get a big “P.U.”

“The smell is awful,” says Kristen Kisner, who works near the Seneca Meadows Landfill on Salcman Road in Waterloo.

“If it rains or if it…honestly I find in the really cold weather when the air’s not moving…it hangs,” says Ross Jones who lives nearby.

Doug Avery, a Seneca Falls Town Councilor, says the dump had a giant odor problem from 2015 to 2016, with intermittent issues in 2017. A year and a half of barely a whiff and then, Avery says the problem came back. Strong. 

“It just makes you sick to your stomach,” says Becky Cooper who has had enough family appetites ruined at meal times.

“You know, it’s starting to take over our communities. We can smell, people can smell it,” says Robert Greene who lives close to Salcman Road.

At a recent meeting, a representative from the Seneca Falls Environmental Action Committee told the council the landfill’s odor runs afoul of state regulations, something Avery agrees with. 

Avery adds some other members of the town government support the landfill, which makes action difficult. Yet even with the smell, the dump employs a lot of local people and has added perks. 

“They offset a lot of the Seneca Falls’ town taxes,” says Jones.

“Honestly, it’s good for the tax payers. It’s good for our local businesses,” says Kisner.

And with waste flowing in by the truckload from across the country, that’s also an extra financial benefit for the area. But seeing the dump piling high and out, one local youngster asks at what cost?

“I’m afraid that the dump is going to like, take over the town,” says Avery Greene.

Doug Avery says the town enacted a local law that has the landfill closing in 2025, but that is still in the court system. The next council meeting is on October 1.

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