Watervliet's Orchard Hill Landfill works to reduce odors

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

From Michigan State Representative Al Pscholka's office:

Work to improve the odor situation at the Orchard Hill Sanitary Landfill continues following Rep. Al Pscholka’s May 1 landfill town hall that over 100 people attended.

In order to gather additional feedback on the progress of the odor problem, Pscholka will hold a second community-wide town hall meeting in the late summer or early fall. More details on the town hall will follow.

“We have made dramatic progress in addressing and alleviating the odors coming from the landfill, but there is still work to be done,” said Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “I am committed to working with residents, the landfill and the DEQ to improve the odor issue, and that is why we are holding another town hall meeting in the coming months.”

Pscholka hosted an initial town hall in May to discuss the odor, as well as ways to alleviate it and inform the community of improvements to it. Since then, Pscholka’s work with Orchard Hill Landfill and the DEQ has resulted in progress on the landfill odors and fewer complaints from residents.

The DEQ has performed a number of odor circuits around the landfill and completed an unannounced inspection of the landfill to observe the quality of waste cover, showing the DEQ’s commitment to inspect at any time. The DEQ also reported a total of 17 complaints from ten different people since May. Eight of the complaints were rated as low level, or below two on a scale of five.

The Orchard Hill Landfill has also worked to reduce odors by enhancing its gas collection system and investing in portable gas well dewatering systems. It has removed an average of 6,000 gallons of perched water per week over the course of four months and dedicated additional personnel to ongoing management of the landfill gas system.

“With each upgrade instituted by the Orchard Hill Landfill team, we are experiencing fewer odors coming from the landfill site,” Pscholka said. “Public feedback was a major factor in all of these improvements, and public feedback will remain a key component as our work continues.”

Upon approval from the DEQ, Orchard Hill will continue to follow its planned fill sequence in the coming months, adding additional gas wells and re-drilling several other wells to minimize the potential for fugitive gas.

“I look forward to continuing cooperation with the landfill, DEQ and the people of Coloma and Watervliet to ensure our residents have quality of life they deserve,” Pscholka said. “If any residents still have any concerns about the landfill odors, I encourage them to visit my website, contact my office or attend the next town hall meeting. These efforts will only be successful if we continue to gather feedback from our communities and make sure their needs are met.”

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