ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Neighbors say a local recycling plant is sticking its business in other peoples' noses.
The smell in George and Mary Carrick's neighborhood seems to be getting worse because of the hot weather and say it is coming Hillcrest Industries.
George said, "You're sleeping and you've got your windows open, you have to get up and close it, because inside of your house stinks - just like garbage. Terrible."
Mary is especially concerned because she has asthma.
"I have to take medication, a couple of different medications, just so that I don't have that heavy feeling when I am trying to breathe," she said.
Hillcrest takes in truckloads of broken glass containers, plastic, and some metal that doesn't make it to recycling facilities, and turns the glass into abrasives for sandblasting and the glitter in road striping.
That material now amounts to about 60,000 tons of discards, piled 60 feet high. The plant also kicks up a lot of dust that settles on nearby homes, cars, and playgrounds.
Attica Village Trustee John Perry said, "We've actually had people cancel their reservations for pavilions in the park because the smell was so bad. They said they didn't want to eat down here, or anything, because it would physically make them sick.:
News 4 has also learned the DEC has slapped Hillcrest with a laundry list of state law violations, including operating a solid waste management facility without a permit, and disposing of solid waste without a permit.
Peter Tarnawskyj, an environmental consultant for Hillcrest Industries, told News 4 they are trying everything they can to hold down the dust and the awful smell, created mostly by rotting food in the shattered containers.
"We've put tarps over the pile. We've put exhaust systems on the pile. We've put a bio-filter on the pile, so we have done a lot of different things to try to control the odor," Tarnawskyj noted.
Village officials are meeting with concerned citizens Monday night to get the latest developments in the Hillcrest case, and find out what their options are, including legal action. We've also learned Hillcrest executives are meeting with DEC officials later this week to get their permission to try out another solution to the smelly problem.
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