Odors to the left of me, odors to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
A cheap play on the lyrics of Stealers Wheel’s most famous song? Perhaps. Yet those words seem to be an appropriate way to describe life in Geneva right now — or, for that matter, anywhere near the two landfills that are separated by a few miles and a county line.
The odors emanating from Seneca Meadows in the town of Seneca Falls and the Ontario County Landfill in the town of Seneca are offensive. Depending on the time of day, the weather, and a variety of other factors, they are gag-inducing at times.
It’s not as if either landfill is unaware of the stench. Both are working on solutions. Those answers simply aren’t coming fast enough.
The foul odors at Seneca Meadows ramped up late in 2015, and it’s debatable whether the situation is any better today. The landfill’s district manager, Kyle Black, has told the Seneca Falls Town Board the number of complaints lodged on the hotline created for that purpose has decreased — although we wonder if many of those who called regularly have decided it’s just not worth dialing up Seneca Meadows anymore.
A little further to the south and west, the landfill operated by Casella Waste Systems is bringing in consultants to deal with a stink that has spiraled out of control in recent months — so much so that olfactory senses in the northwest portion of the city of Geneva are being assaulted almost daily. Things came to a head last month at a county Board of Supervisors’ Planning and Environmental Quality Committee meeting, when a number of residents showed up to complain about the smell.
We do not profess to be trash experts, but it seems reasonable to believe a combination of the type and volume of trash being accepted at both landfills is, at the very least, a big part of the problem. And therein lies one of the conundrums about landfills.
Like many businesses, they are profit-driven. To pick and choose which trash to accept, or to consider any reduction in quantity, would have a detrimental effect on the bottom line — and likely cost some folks their jobs.
So be it. It’s way past time to remedy the situation — by whatever means possible.