Bristol, Va. residents bring complaints of landfill odor back to city council

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BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – Residents of Bristol, Virginia voiced their concerns once again to the city council Tuesday night regarding the stench of the city’s landfill.

Community members have been complaining of the odor for months, claiming the smell has permeated their neighborhoods.

“We’ve complained, pleaded, filed reports, spent our time and money to raise awareness and concern,” said resident Todd Semple during the council’s Tuesday night meeting. “Yet you care so little about residents of both communities that this topic wasn’t even on today’s city council agenda, and you continue to accept waste and operate the landfill.”

The city said tests of wastewater from the landfill showed excessively high levels of benzene. However, state environmental officials have said there is no public health risk associated with the landfill.

“I understand the citizens’ frustration; I truly do,” said city manager and attorney Randy Eads. “I’ve been out there at night, at daytime. I smell what they smell, and everyone on this city council, my staff and myself, we are committed to solving this issue as quickly as possible.”

City leaders say devices have been installed meant to limit the impact of gases and water build-up deep inside the Bristol, Virginia Solid Waste Management Facility. According to staff from Byers Scientific, the contractor working to find a solution to the odor, they have installed a “short-term, small-scale” pilot project to determine the effectiveness of their technology.

Company staff told News Channel 11 that a full-scale solution has not yet been put in place and that residents should not expect significant results before one has been constructed, though early results are “promising.”

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