ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The EPA has begun sampling the air around Attica schools amid chronic complaints of foul odors from Hillcrest Industries' recycling operation.
Residents aired their complaints before the town board Monday night and say they've been dealing with the issue for far too long and it's time somebody stifle the stench.
Randy Ellis described, "It's so bad, it's like trying to take a breath under water. You can't live this way. Something has got to be done. We cannot be expected as human beings to live like this."
The smell was originally thought to come from rotting foods and liquids in a 60,000 ton glass pile. But residents now believe the smell is coming from burning plastics and glass inside the pile. So far, the DEC has released no information to suggest there are fires inside the pile, but residents are convinced.
Joe Gasbarrini said, "I wipe my finger across by the window ledge, and I don't need a microscope. I can see in the light the shining, little shiny particles, and that's got to be going in our lungs. Glass in your lungs? Isn't that some type of mesothelioma or something like that? It's got to be."
Town leaders say they understand the residents concerns and would also like a resolution.
Town Supervisor Doug Patti said, "We recognize that's part of our position. We're a sounding board. But as I stressed, one of my last comments for the evening was we don't commute; we all live here, too. The village board all lives here. The town board all lives here. And we're concerned about this issue."
Village Mayor William Lepsch said he doesn't expect the problem to be resolved any time soon. Last week, the EPA did air testing in Attica. Those results are expected back later this week. The next step will be test results from the DEC.
One question that came up is why Hillcrest Industries is not shut down amid all the ongoing issues. The only way that would happen is with an injunction from a judge.
Residents are expected to further air their concerns at a village board meeting on Wednesday.
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