SALEM TOWNSHIP — Something stinks around the Arbor Hills Landfill, but no one “nose” who’s responsible for controlling the smell.
Neighbors near the landfill have been complaining about the smell coming from the site, but the two companies involved in controlling the property and the gas collection system are at odds over who should be held accountable for the odor.
Advanced Disposal, the Florida-based company that owns the Arbor Hills Landfill at 10690 Six Mile Road filed a motion last week against Phoenix-based Republic Services asking Republic to comply with a judgment issued in February by the Washtenaw County Circuit.
An arbitration court ruled in December that Advanced was not responsible for gas collection and control system, which is owned by Republic.
“Our number one priority has been to address the landfill gas odors impacting our neighbors around the landfill. All other alternatives to force Republic Services to comply with their contractual obligations have been unsuccessful,” said Dave Lavender, east region vice president of Advanced in a press release.
Lavender went on to say that his company has been working with the state and local municipalities to resolve the issue.
In its motion, Advanced asked the court to enter a court order that would set specific actions and dates by which they must be achieved that would require Republic to control the gas and the odors.
Russ Knocke, a spokesman for Allied/BFI (a division of Republic) says the company is prepared to fight claims that their system is to blame for the smell.
“The court will also be informed, as can be seen from the Motion itself, there is nothing in Advanced’s Motion or elsewhere establishing a link between the odors noticed by the facility’s neighbors and the gas collection and control system owned by Allied and BFI,” Knocke said in a statement.
He went on to say that Advanced is required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to maintain the landfill properly in order to prevent the odors being released. None of those operations are the responsibility of Republic, Knocke said.
Republic says it first learned about the odors in January and began working to determine their systems were not to blame for the smell. The company also accelerated scheduled work on the systems where wells were replaced or improved ahead of schedule, Knocke said.
“The undisputable truth is that no one—not Allied, BFI, Advanced or the MDEQ—knows yet what caused the odors, or if there were multiple causes of some or all of the odors,” Knocke said.