Despite deadline, work continues to mitigate smell at High Acres Landfill

April 30, 2018 08:49 PM

Homeowners in Perinton and Macedon are trying to avoid a summer stench.

That's why the towns gave the High Acres Landfill until Monday to mitigate problems that have been causing major odor issues for months. 

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While work is definitely begin done at the landfill to try and address the problem as they lay down what they call a membrane to try and absorb some of the smell. That work is still ongoing. 

The smell has been affecting people like Dana Morales. She's lived in Fairport all of her life, but the for the last few years she's been in a neighborhood where you can see the High Acres Landfill in the distance. The smell, she says, wasn't a real issue until last fall.

"There were some days that were really bad, you could definitely smell it inside the house," she says.

She was pregnant at the time, so the situation was even more tough. Waste Management, who owns the landfill, has said some of the changes it made last year led to a more prominent and potent smell in the area. It's been working on mitigation.

"We did not think that anyone had a level of urgency, but that's definitely changed," says Mike Barker, the Perinton Town Supervisor.

The towns urged the Department of Environmental Conservation to get involved. The state agency now has, and demanded the landfill work quickly to address the issues.

"We had asked DEC if there were certain benchmarks not made," says Barker, "We asked them too, I guess have some consequences with waste management."

One possibility why those benchmarks haven't been met: the weather. High winds have slowed the work while reminding those nearby why it's so necessary.

"Last week wasn't a good week," says Barker, "We had over 150 complaints kinda in a 36-hour period from Monday to Tuesday and then Friday to Saturday we [got] over another 100 complaints."

The DEC hasn't said anything but the consequences Waste Management faces, but it has had a visible presence in town and at the landfill. Neighbors like Morales say the real proof of progress will come soon. 

"[I'm] just waiting to see exactly what going to happen come the summer heat, and see if it actually makes a difference." 

Reached for comment, High Acres sent a statement from Jeff Richardson, the Senior District Manager for Waste Management of New York. It is printed below:

“The team at High Acres is continuing with additional corrective measures as part of our odor mitigation efforts at the site. We understand the measures that need to be taken and we will continue our efforts with NYSDEC until every component of the mitigation efforts are complete.”


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