Follow Your Nose — Which Landfills Are Irritating North Countians

UPDATED 2:57 p.m. with comment from Republic Services

BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – The nose knows which landfills have been irritating north St. Louis County residents, says Ed Smith at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

There are concerns about West Lake Landfill, with its buried nuclear waste, and Bridgeton Landfill, with its smoldering underground fire. But the EPA just announced a crack-down on the nearby Champ Landfill for its own emissions problems.

So who’s to blame for any smell and irritation?

“It’s possible that it could be coming from West Lake, it’s possible that it could be coming from Champ, it’s possible that it could be coming from other industry,” Smith says. “The one thing that I don’t believe is that Republic Services is saying that 90 percent of these odors are not coming from West Lake Landfill, and I just don’t believe that.”

Smith says the West Lake/Bridgeton smell is more putrid — like burning garbage — and the Champ landfill smells sweeter. But he also notes that the Champ facility has large sprayers to mask its scent.

Republic Services, which owns West Lake and Bridgeton, says it’s invested $180 million to keep people’s noses from twitching.

“It has always been a little frustrating to be tagged for odors upwind from the landfill,” a Republic spokesman said. “Champ is only one of several other sources in the area.”

There is also an asphalt plant in the vicinity, Smith says.

In 2013, Republic Services paid for neighbors to temporarily sleep in a hotel during digging at Bridgeton Landfill.

Smith maintains that everyone living in a mile radius around the West Lake and Bridgeton landfills deserves to be bought out of their homes.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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