The increasingly bad smells emanating from the Riverview Land Preserve are in the process of being reduced, according to landfill director Bob Bobeck.
Bobeck addressed residents' concerns about the smells at Monday's city council meeting, after Trenton resident Peter Benskey of Boxford Street wrote Mayor Kyle Stack a letter complaining about the "terrible" smell coming from his basement.
In his letter, Benskey said he frequently wakes up to the smell of the landfill and is concerned about how the increase in smell would affect property values.
Bobeck said he is aware of the increase in odor coming from the landfill and has implemented a plan to reduce them.
He added the smells have been steadily increasing since July 2011, and landfill employees have been hard at work to remedy the stink.
"We were aware that the landfill has been producing excess odors lately," Bobeck said.
He said the smells began getting worse when landfill employees moved into a new cell, or large area where trash is stored, closer to King Road.
The landfill is located at 20863 Grange Road, just off King Road between Allen Road and Fort Street.
The odor problem is one that many Trenton residents are aware of and have become concerned about.
Jema McCardell, who lives on Birchwood, said her toddler began gagging as a result of the smell on Monday afternoon.
Resident Morgan Marshall said she's smelled the odor a lot recently while driving on King Road.
To solve the odor problem landfill employees drilled 26 new methane extraction wells in December 2011 according to Bobeck. The wells are designed to contain methane gases created as trash breaks down.
Methane gasses are the primary cause for smells coming from the landfill.
Bobeck said the landfill recently began pulling gases into the new wells where they were previously venting to the atmosphere and causing Trenton residents to take notice.
"Probably for the last couple of weeks we've noticed a huge difference in the lessening of odors and I believe it will continue ... I believe everybody will notice a lot less odors from now on," Bobeck said.
The methane gasses are used to turn a turbine engine to make electricity and, Bobeck said, occasionally there are mechanical problems that temporarily increase odors.
A mechanical failure at the electrical plant on Saturday triggered a shut down of the turbines and, in turn, caused an increase in odor. The mechanical failure was fixed.
Bobeck said city employees drive street sweepers "all the time" to prevent sediment caused by the landfill from building up in the surrounding area.
The landfill will not be full for an estimated 17 years, according to Bobeck.
For questions or to voice concerns about the Riverview Land Preserve contact Bob Bobeck directly at 734-785-5927.