WARREN Landfill smell can be treated, health official says
Levels of hydrogen sulfide at the site have been deemed harmless.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Shutting down Warren Recycling is not the solution to the smelly problem that has some residents in an uproar.
That's the opinion of Bob Pinti, the city's deputy health director, who says the only way to curb the problem is to treat its cause.
Residents filled Warren Township Administration building Thursday during a meeting called by city councilwoman Susan Hartman, D-7th.
Some residents suggested shutting down the landfill on Martin Luther King Avenue S.W., and others cited concerns for their health.
Monitoring: The cause of the smell has been identified as hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas with a strong odor of rotten eggs that can be harmful in a confined space without proper ventilation or in instances of prolonged exposure.
Readings are being taken three times a day to monitor levels, Pinti said, explaining they have not exceeded what's deemed harmful by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Industrial Commission.
The landfill is licensed to handle construction and demolition debris only. Pinti said the situation is being caused by moist construction materials.
Complaint: Whatever it is, Bill Bush of Elm Street just wants it taken care of.
He and some of his family and friends have complained since fall of breathing problems, trouble sleeping and gagging when the smell is particularly bad.
"They have genuine concerns and I sympathize with them," Pinti said. "I've smelled the odor; it's very unpleasant."
The odor was identified in December, Pinti said, and what makes it difficult to treat is that it's not constant. Some days are worse than others, he explained, and some days there is no odor at all.
No danger: The fact that the meeting was held and a representative of the EPA was there should help quell residents' fears they're in danger, Pinti said.
He also noted that Warren Recycling has been very helpful and is committed to working with the city to remedy the situation.
Pinti said the presence of the gas is not unique to Warren Recycling and noted that many landfills experience similar problems.