Another summer night – and another whiff of Seneca Meadows Landfill – lovingly referred to as “the dump.” I pull up my contacts, hit the “Smell it, Tell it” line and politely tell the answering service that I can smell the dump. I give her my name, address, when I noticed the smell, and how long it has been going on this time. She says she will get the information to the proper authorities and someone will be out to check on what I smell.
From my several experiences with this process, I know that someone will drive down my street, and, in a few days, I will receive a form letter thanking me for my feedback, but noting that no odor was determined and the Landfill is following all proper measures to cut down on the odors.
So this time, I tell the service that I would like the Landfill rep to stop at my house when they drive by. Actually get out of the truck – come into my yard – my space – and actually smell what I smell.
Within 30 minutes, I see a landfill pick up drive down my road – I step out, and he stops. He gets out of the truck and we talk about the odor challenges. He notes that it took him a few extra minutes to get here because he was busy ‘aiming the misters.’ – We continue making small talk as I will that wave of odor to return. (similar to taking a car to the mechanic and having the ‘problem’ inexplicably disappear). As ‘luck’ would have it the stink returns – the landfill guy actually notices it first – he mentions that it is definitely a gas coming from the Landfill and that the misters should help to cut down on that. I express my concerns over the damage from chemicals in the air – whether they are coming from the trash itself, or the mists that are sent out to cover the trash stench. He assures me that the scents from the mists are all natural and harmless… I am not convinced.
I thank him for his time – and he returns to his work. I can’t fault the guy, just like it does no good to get angry with the call receptionist. They are employees of the Landfill – doing their jobs, earning a paycheck, supporting their lives. I respect their service.
Quite honestly, the issue with the Landfill is really NO ONE’s fault. The people of Seneca Meadows Landfill have been very gracious and generous throughout their tenure in Seneca County. They have always been quick to donate money to area causes, and give back wherever they can…. in large amounts. I think, because they know how their presence is affecting our lives, they see the necessity to ‘make-nice’ (to reduce the feeling of guilt perhaps?). Their gifts are hard to turn down. And these gifts have become the reason our future with the landfill has been so contentious.
The sad fact is, the Seneca Meadows Landfill has simply outgrown our area. Our land, our neighborhoods, and our homes have taken as much as they can. It’s time for the good people at Seneca Meadows Landfill to take their gifts and generosity to another community.
Thank you Seneca Meadows, for the countless donations to community organizations, scholarships for students throughout the area, thank you for the free mulch, thank you for the wetlands preserve, and for the many crafting, experiential, and education programs. Much luck to you in the future, safe travels, here’s your hat, don’t let the door hit you….. How can we miss you ……
Oh, and we will miss all of that financial support. But to discuss the cost to us of gaining that support would mean another blog – so lets move forward.
Hey – there is a new casino down the road – full of employment opportunities, tax revenues, and good will to all. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea – but, really, neither is the landfill.
Let’s invite the Landfill to leave, the party is over, give them a face cake, and call it a day -it is time to clean up. Maybe then we can open our arms to new friends, and new opportunities. And celebrate what is around us that money can’t buy.. the beauty of the Finger Lakes….. and its fresh air.