Landfill has weeks to fix odor issues

A Dayton landfill where odor issues have led to hundreds of complaints from nearby cities and a lawsuit will have several weeks to resolve the issue before Montgomery County decides if it will take solid waste elsewhere.

The head of the panel asking for a study of possible alternatives said Thursday that Stony Hollow Landfill owner Waste Management can put the issue to rest before a Jan. 26 meeting by finding a solution to containing its emissions, something the company said it is committed to.

“If Waste Management would correct the situation, I don’t think there would be a problem,” said the county Solid Waste Advisory Committee Chairman Dick Church Jr., Miamisburg’s mayor.

The county sends Stony Hollow between 300 and 400 tons of the 1,100 tons it takes in daily, company officials said. Any change would have to be approved by the county commission, Church said.

The landfill on South Gettysburg Avenue also faces an issue with the city of Dayton. Last month it was barred from discharging waste into Dayton’s system pending a city investigation into a sewer overflow that emitted “noxious” odors near the site, causing cleanup crews to be “overcome” and seek medical help, records show.

The issue before the county stems from the company’s inability to find a solution to a problem that surfaced in April. It has led to a class-action lawsuit, and complaints from residents of Jackson and Jefferson Twps., Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine and West Carrollton before Moraine City Manager David Hicks’ request Wednesday for county action.

Hicks’ letter followed “months of continued failure by Stony Hollow and Waste Management to resolve the numerous odor issues at the landfill negatively impacting the region.”

Moraine residents have lodged nearly 300 “formal” complaints since April while Realtors have “advised that the odors have negatively impacted their ability to rent or sell commercial spaces” in affected areas, according to Hicks’ letter.

In an email Thursday, Hicks stated that “while the city and residents are anxious to move forward” his request was “addressing the likelihood of future odor issues and process failures at the landfill.”

Hicks’ email said “we have assurances from Stony Hollow/Waste Management that they are continuing their efforts to eliminate the overwhelming odors coming from the landfill.”

Waste Management officials said they have nearly completed installing 50 wells and plan to put an odor control cap over a 13-acre area and take other “measures designed to control the odors.”

“We’re focused on completing several projects to address the odors as safely and quickly as possible,” according to a statement from Waste Management Public Affairs Director Kathy Trent. “We are continuing work on containing and controlling additional gas and liquid being created by elevated temperatures within the landfill.”

Waste Management has started to install the odor control cap, which should be complete in the coming weeks and installing other devices to eliminate or destroy excess landfill gases, according to the statement.

“We are confident these steps will help address the odor issues, and we will continue work with the community, its leaders and local and state regulators until these issues are resolved.”

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