by Sam Levin
In Bridgeton, Missouri, everyone wants the same thing -- a better smelling city.
So says the latest announcement from the company behind the Bridgeton landfill, which has come under fire in recent months for making the area smell so bad, residents say it can be painful.
Tim Trost, area president for Republic Services, the parent company of the Bridgeton Landfill, says in a press release about the smell, "We live here, work here and want the same thing -- to dramatically reduce the odor."
The landfill's stench first made headlines last month with a news segment featuring distraught residents struggling with the terrible, awful smell.
The company soon after released a statement that it was "very sorry" about the stench and that it would work to make it less smelly as quickly as possible.
Since then, the company says it has determined that the bad smell is not a health hazard -- but continues to smell bad and might, in the interim, get worse.
In addition to pressure from news reports, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has given the company some attention with its study of air quality impacts and the causes of the smell.
In its latest announcement, Republic Services says that the Natural Resources department has set up a portable trailer, near the landfill off of St. Charles Rock Road, which will conduct ongoing air testing and provide information to the public about what efforts the company is making to reduce the odor.
Republic notes that residents should visit bridgetonlandfill.com for updates and can call 1-855-807-2387 to hear more about how the business will make the area smell nicer.
Trost says in the news release, "We look forward to working with MDNR so that the public has confidence and faith in knowing that we are making progress on our plan to dramatically reduce the unpleasant odor."
Based on the Natural Resources studies, it seems the recent horrible odors came from a "subsurface smoldering event or corrective actions to address the subsurface smoldering event."
This "event" apparently caused increased landfill gas generation. The facility also experienced a break in a "leachate line," which led to a roughly ten-day period of "heightened odors" in January. During drilling of gas extraction the following month, odors unexpectedly intensified yet again.
MDNR says that Republic Services has a nine-week plan to address the odor issue -- but notes that during that time, "Residents and businesses in the area surrounding Bridgeton will likely notice periodic spikes in odors as these construction activities occur."
How do residents feel about this?
Continue for some of the best reader feedback and the full official announcements.
After publishing the latest update, Daily RFT received some spirited comments from those who have experienced this firsthand. Here are some of our favorites:
I work in this area. Some nights are stinky, yes. But occasionally the smell is so overpowering that it literally makes me gag. I leave work, jump in my car, and I can't wait to get out of the area.
Driving up 270 at St. Charles Rock Road over the weekend - the smell was horrific. I had to close my vents in the car.
The smell is horrible!!!!
Yay, My company finally moved away from here! Start at the new location tomorrow.
It gives me a migraine. Daily and poor Olive Garden, Bob Evans ans Dierbergs Bakery. The smell cant help business.
And here's the full news release from Republic Services:
Republic Services, the parent company of Bridgeton Landfill LLC, Welcomes MDNR Trailer
(Bridgeton, Missouri): Tim Trost, the Area President for Republic Services, the parent company of Bridgeton Landfill LLC, today announced that he welcomed the decision of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to place a portable trailer near the landfill. The trailer is currently located in the Hussman parking lot off of St. Charles Rock Road.
Trost said, "We live here, work here and want the same result as the MDNR - to dramatically reduce the odor coming from the landfill while assuring the public that the air is safe to breathe."
It is Republic's understanding from conversations with MDNR that the trailer will conduct ongoing air testing and that it may provide information to the public about what Republic is doing to reduce the odor. Local residents may also want to visit Republic's website, www.BridgetonLandfill.com, and can always call our toll-free number, 1-855-807-2387 to learn more about what we are doing to reduce the odor.
Concluded Trost, "We look forward to working with MDNR so that the public has confidence and faith in knowing that we are making progress on our plan to dramatically reduce the unpleasant odor."
And the latest update, via MDNR:
Odors surrounding the Bridgeton Landfill are attributable to the subsurface smoldering event or corrective actions to address the subsurface smoldering event:
-Increased landfill gas generated from the subsurface smoldering event. -Construction activities performed to address the subsurface smoldering event and long-term odor control. -In mid-January, the facility experienced a break in a leachate line resulting in a 1 1/2 week period with heightened odors. In mid-February, during drilling of a gas extraction well odors unexpectedly intensified over several hours.
To address the odor issue, Bridgeton/Republic developed a nine-week plan. During these nine weeks, from approximately the end of February through the beginning of May, residents and businesses in the area surrounding Bridgeton will likely notice periodic spikes in odors as these construction activities occur.
In addition to tracking odor concerns, the Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Management Program and the St. Louis Regional Office are conducting odor surveillance inspections to evaluate the odor situation at the facility. At this time, Solid Waste Management Program and the St. Louis Regional Office staff will not be investigating each individual complaint as received. Each complaint will be read to determine whether immediate investigation is warranted. The Solid Waste Management Program will be logging and mapping complaints received.