Rowlett Residents Raise Stink Over Landfill Stench

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCDFW.com
    The city of Garland places six inches of soil on new trash every day to keep smells from emitting, but recent rains have washed much of the soil away.

    Rowlett residents say a noxious smell coming from a neighboring Garland landfill has gotten progressively worse.

    "Often, it's a rotten smell, a rotten, gassy smell like you might have from an egg that's been left out for a couple of days," said Jonathon Godwin, who lives in the Waterview area of Rowlett.

    The Hinton Landfill, which is owned by the city of Garland, sits right next his subdivision. The only thing between the landfill and the subdivision are some carefully built mounds of grass and trees that cover the sight of the landfill -- but not the smell.

    Rowlett Resident Raise Stink Over Stench

    [DFW] Rowlett Resident Raise Stink Over Stench
    Rowlett residents say the smell coming from a Garland landfill is permeating their homes.

    The city of Garland places six inches of soil on new trash every day to keep smells from emitting, but recent rains have washed much of the soil away.

    "My understanding is, they are zeroing in on a part of the drainage system at the landfill that didn't work correctly," Rowlett Mayor John Harper said.

    Residents signed a consent form accepting the risks of living next to a landfill.

    But they said it was never a problem until a few months ago. Residents said some of their neighbors have already moved away to get away from the stench.

    Harper has been working with Garland Mayor Ronald Jones to come to a resolution. The Hinton landfill passed Texas Commission on Environmental Quality inspections.

    Velma Smith has lived in her Rowlett home for just one year, but she said she is ready to move again.

    "It's been terrible," she said. "We hear the rumble of the trucks all day going in and out, and we smell the odor that is coming through. We get a lot of paper in the area from trash flying around, and I'm so afraid there will be rats."

    "My concern is that we may have a public safety issue," Harper said. "We are being told that they are in full compliance of their requirements. But we do have a stench, and we don't know if that is causing more than just a toxic odor."

    The city of Rowlett will begin its own air quality testing to make sure the air is safe. Harper and Rowlett residents say if the issue goes unresolved, property values could plummet.

    A Garland spokesperson said the city will do whatever it takes to make its neighbors happy. The Garland City Council plans to address the issue later this month.