Resident complains about landfill smell

RHEA COUNTY, Tennessee- Donna Mcgainey said outside of the Rhea County Solid Waste Facility, there is usually an awful smell wafting through the neighborhood.

“The debris on the road, the smell is horrendous,” said Mcgainey. “Maybe we need to be checking in to see whose job it is and if they’re not on sick leave, they need to be out here doing their job.”

She said despite it being clean today, this is far from the norm.

“I appreciate that,” said Mcgainey. “I didn’t want to smell it today and I didn’t want to see it today and I do appreciate that George did have them out working this morning but this is not the norm and everybody in Rhea County knows this is not the norm.”

Aaron Elledge with Santek gave News 12 a statement saying there are times that a landfill may produce odor, but this is not a frequent issue. He said last month, there were only three filed complaints.

Mcgainey said complaining is the only way the debris and smell get taken care of,” said Mcgainey.

“The only way that we can do this is if we appoint someone that lives here each day to make the complaint and we don’t have time because we have jobs and we have families,” said Mcgainey.

Elledge’s statement said Santek sweeps and/or washes the road with a water truck and the landfill is randomly inspected by TDEC monthly. The last inspection was performed on 3/4/2021 with no violations or areas of concern.

McGainey said cleaning doesn’t happen enough and if nothing changes everyone who lives in the area is stuck.

“We’re land owners that have been stuck with this,” said Mcgainey. “Unless the county comes out and buys us all out, we’re stuck.”

She said it’s the kids who are truly punished by the smell and mess.

“These children do not need to be out here in the morning smelling that smell,” said Mcgainey. “I had to put up with this all my life, now they’re having to put up with it.”

Mcgainey added this is not mayor George Thacker’s fault, she said he is trying to help the area out.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Regional News, Rhea County

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