Category Archives: Odor

Advanced Disposal’s stinkiest day yet

Advanced Disposal’s Arbor Hills Landfill received 114 odor complaints on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 — its worst day yet. Many residents of Salem, Northville, Novi and Plymouth reported odors for the first time.

Residents use The Odor Report, a web-based system, to submit odor complaints.

Some of the odor descriptions:

“Disgusting putrid offensive stink”

“Horrible landfill gas smell long after the dump was closed for the day.”

“The odor was a sulfuric stench I could smell it inside my home. When I opened my dryer to get my laundry out I just about threw up it was so disgusting. Every Thanksgiving it begins to smell as I prepare for our family to come visit. I am not sure why they can’t run their business in a professional manner surely not being a good neighbor to us. I never have any problems with the gas stations or other businesses in the area.”

“Really really bad smell smell like someone pooping (in) my front yard.”

“Horrible garbage landfill smell permeated into my garage upon opening the garage door it hit me in the face a pungent smell. I thought colder air would cut down the landfill gas smell”

“It smells sooo bad u can t breathe outside. It’s horrible in my garage into laundry rm. Plz help us live a normal life. This is inhuman. Thank you. ”

The Conservancy Initiative was formed three years ago to combat the proposed expansion and many environmental issues related to Arbor Hills Landfill in Salem Twp. Most of the residents who have been hurt by this massive landfill live in Wayne County while the landfill itself sits in Washtenaw County, a cash cow for its hosts – Salem Twp. and Washtenaw County.

Only 10 percent of the waste at Arbor Hills Landfill actually comes from Washtenaw County residents, according to data provided by Washtenaw County.

Arbor Hills Landfill is already one of the largest landfills in the nation yet Advanced Disposal Services wants to expand. The landfill is flanked by two elementary schools, a nature preserve and hundreds of homes.

Want to help?
  • Donate to The Conservancy Initiative
  • Contact your elected officials to determine what they’re doing to remedy this issue
  • Contact Larry Bean, supervisor of the Waste Management and Radiological Protection Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 517-416-4375 or BEANL@michigan.gov
  • Contact Salem Twp. Supervisor Gary Whittaker. The landfill subsidizes the township and its residents’ taxes. As owner of Three Cedars Farm, Whittaker benefits from this arrangement gary@salem-mi.org
  • Attend meetings in Northville Twp. and Salem Twp.
  • Contact Salem Twp. state Rep. Donna Lasinski at (517) 373-0828 or DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.

Arbor Hills Landfill gets yet another violation

Arbor Hills Landfill was issued a major violation on Aug. 31, 2018 for failing to control odors. This is the second citation for violating federal environmental laws this year.

Read the violation

The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality conducted an investigation on Aug. 23, 2018 after receiving odor complaints. The complaints started at 7 a.m. and continued until after 10 p.m. The 30 odor descriptions varied from rubber burning to raw sewage to rotten eggs to pungent trash.

Our sources say the nasty odors likely resulted from the 200 tons of Detroit sewage sludge that Arbor Hills Landfill accepted shortly before this incident.

The Air Quality Division staff detected “a distinct and definite objectionable landfill garbage odor in the residential area on the south side of Napier Road downwind of the facility,” according to the violation notice.

Through the time of their inspection on Aug. 23, MDEQ had received nearly 900 odor complaints regarding Arbor Hills Landfill in 2018, according to the violation notice.

Stop Arbor Hills launched The Odor Report earlier this year to track and report nuisance odors. The number of odor reporters and reports increased dramatically with the single system and process. Arbor Hills Landfill received 522 odor complaints in 2016 and 280 in 2017. As of Sept. 17, more than 1,000 odor complaints have been submitted this year.

“In response to complaints, DEQ staff has conducted numerous on-site inspections and complaint investigations in the immediate area,” says the violation notice. “This recent observation of landfill garbage odors in violation of Rule 901 and Rule 433(1)(c), indicates additional measures are needed to reduce odors from the landfill.”

The dump’s owner, Advanced Disposal Services (ADS), must send a response to this violation notice by Sept. 24, 2018. The response is supposed to include steps to fix ongoing odor issues. The last time the dump received a 901 violation, on Feb. 6, 2018, they denied responsibility and blamed developers in lieu of providing a comprehensive remediation plan.

Feb. 6 violation  |  Violation response

Odor consultant RK & Associates is still conducting odor evaluations. Read odor evaluations

Advanced Disposal Services claims it has spent $8 million improving its gas collection system but the company has not shown  documentation confirming this. Read the gas collection system construction update from Advanced Disposal Services.

Even after all of the violations and 1,000+ odor complaints in 2018 alone, the operators of Arbor Hills Landfill still maintain they are going to expand.

The MDEQ has published an action summary from May-Aug. 2018. Read the summary

 

Arbor Hills compost too smelly for Detroit

Quote taken from NPR article about Detroit composting sent to Arbor Hills in Salem Twp., Washtenaw County

Compost is too smelly for the city of Detroit so they send it to Arbor Hills Landfill in Salem Township, Washtenaw County. Children at the two schools flanking the composting facility get to suck on the ammonium nitrate fumes as do residents in the hundreds of homes around the dirty dump and its smelly compost operation.

NPR published a story about Detroit’s yard waste on Aug. 13, 2018. CurisiD: Where does Detroit’s yard waste go?

So far this year, Detroit has sent 6,300 tons of yard waste to Advanced Disposal’s Salem Township composting site on the north side of 6 Mile Road. Plymouth, Salem and Northville residents have submitted over 1,000 odor complaints this year as of Aug. 14, 2018.

See maps below to see just how close the two elementary schools are to the smelly compost operation.

Salem Elementary in Washtenaw County is 1 mile west of Arbor Hills Landfill’s compost operation that’s too smelly for Detroit
Ridge Wood Elementary in Wayne County is nearly 1 mile east of Arbor Hills Landfill’s smelly compost operation in Washtenaw County