I went outside my house a couple of weeks ago and there was this smell of rotting garbage and the smell had also seeped inside the house. I had smelled it often before and I went out to see if I had left the lid off the garbage pails. Nope.
And then I realized, no, not the smell of rotting garbage but the smell of rotting eggs. The Landfill. And I live over the Ridge and far away in Newburyport’s South End.
I guess because of the Newburyport Political Blog, I am on the Landfill email list, and hear the daily reports of calling in “odor” complaints to New Ventures, the folks that “run” and own the Landfill, as well as the physical affects that the odors have on the people in the immediate neighborhood.
The emails are heartbreaking folks. I cannot imagine getting up year after year and having the smell be so fierce that I throw up or would be nauseous until the smell abates.
The “hope” (although I believe many a neighbor thought it was a useless “hope”) was at the very least New Ventures, the Landfill operator would have taken care of the “odor” problem. Obviously, that one hasn’t happened yet.
And the anger and frustrations are obviously very high. How could this not be so?
Newburyport’s Health Director, John Morris, wrote the email list (and because the email list is considered a “publication” I hope Mr. Morris and Mayor Moak will not be offended that I pass on their messages here):
“Believe me the Mayor is briefed daily on NV. His options are very limited just as ours. He inspects the operation every day and we discuss our options on a daily basis and discuss NV every day with DEP. Let’s keep focused and united to bring this to an end. Thanks”
And the email list also received a long email from Mayor John Moak, which I thought was very empathetic, stating that:
“…I am very much concerned with what you have to live with… I visit the landfill site usually 6 days a week… I take a tour of the neighborhoods each time I am at the landfill. I talk with Jack Morris everyday about monitoring and methods we can implement to keep the project going, while stressing the need to abate odors. I am in continuous contact with our lawyer to talk about communications we need to send to the DEP and AG and NV…
….I want to stress that I do read your emails and use these to plan my course of action each day as I, along with Jack Morris, attempt to represent the City on this matter in a way that maximizes the input we have on this project. My goal is to get this landfill closed as quickly as possible while emphasizing the need to bring back a healthy environment to the neighborhood.”
What can we do? I don’t know, except not to forget the people in the immediate neighborhood that the Landfill affects everyday. And to know that the Landfill affects everyone of us in Newburyport, MA as well.