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County Landfill Smelling up Town

Written By: Joe Melillo

Since 2005 the Chemung County landfill has worked exactly how it is supposed to, no smell, no mess, until recently.

Chemung County Landfill Smell
February 15, 2013
Chemung (WENY) - Since 2005 the Chemung County landfill has worked exactly how it is supposed to, no smell, no mess, until recently. Neighbors say it's started to stink in the last few months, and worry a serious increase in tonnage will make it worse. Right now the landfill hold 180,000 tons of garbage. The company running the landfill, and the county have applied to more than double to tonnage to 400,000 tons. It's a part of life we often forget. Just put the bag of garbage out on the curb and in the morning its gone, never to be smelled again. For the people living in the town of Chemung, that smell is becoming part of life. Joe Donovan lives just east of the Landfill and says he is against a plan to increase the capacity.
     
“The landfill and the garbage is everybody's problem but nobody wants it in their yard. Well we have it in our yard,” says Donovan. “It's like a strong methane gas or coal gas it's a really rotten smell. your getting the mixtures of methane that's odorless but whatever pushes through, you're smelling whatever the garbage is, it isn't good.”
    
Chemung town supervisor George Richter has no problem with more-than-doubling the landfill's capacity, as long as the company controls the smell.
     
“The neighbors should not be expected to live with this with no long term resolution in place. I have not seen any plan that has been put into place,” says Richter.
    
Casella Waste Management has put in a request to increase the amount of garbage the landfill can hold to 400,000 tons.
     
“It's one thing to be aware its one thing to say you're going to work on a solution. I'm a results oriented person, We need to see long term demonstrated results and a solution to this problem and this off site odor impacts,” says Richter.
     
“The truck traffic and what not will concern me with the school buses and stuff coming back and forth, but the main problem is the odor and what's going to happen to our community,” says Donovan.
     
Donovan says he has smelled the garbage up to two miles away at the Lowman Crossover.