BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) — Relief is on the way for some Bristol residents affected by odors coming from the Bristol, Virginia landfill in the form of air purifiers.
The City of Bristol, Tennessee purchased 60 air purifiers for low and moderate-income residents in Tennessee.
A coalition of churches, organizations and individual donations raised over $7,000 and have ordered 35 air purifiers for Bristol, Tennessee and Virginia residents.
The city and the community-led effort purchased different air purifiers, but they both serve the same purpose to eliminate “volatile organic compounds” using a series of filters.
The purifiers purchased by the city cover an area up to 1,000 square feet. The ones purchased by the community-led group cover about 850 square feet.
Both the city and the community-led group will provide the purifiers free of charge.
The city received its first shipment this week and started distribution at the United Way of Bristol office on Friday.
“We’re aware of the smells. We experience them too,” said Bristol, Tenn. Director of Community Relations Jon Luttrell. “It’s our goal to provide relief wherever we can and through whatever means are available to us.”
Luttrell said these efforts are the first step toward long-awaited relief from the smell.
“We want peace back in the community, people to be able to peacefully enjoy their homes,” Luttrell said.
The city said they had received “a few hundred” applications for purifiers as of Friday.
“Our goal is just to provide a little bit of relief, take the edge off of the suffering of residents,” organizer Samuel Weddington said.
Weddington said a second order of 35 purifiers is expected on Monday. If received on time, Weddington said they will distribute the purifiers on Tuesday.
He said the majority of the purifiers will go to Bristol, Virginia residents because the City of Bristol, Virginia had not provided any assistance to those affected.
“Those with other resources and I think responsibility in this, I hope that they would take more of a role in providing temporary relief for residents as we suffer through this,” Weddington said.
If you are a Bristol, Tenn. resident with low or moderate income, you can apply to receive a free air purifier from the city here.