ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Imagine having to keep your windows shut during this hot summer because the smell outside is more unbearable than the heat.
Some people in Attica say that's the summer nightmare they're living through and now they're taking action. Residents say black soot and glass particles are landing on their homes, and one man said it's so bad, he can't use his pool anymore. But it's the health concerns and an overpowering odor that really has people fired up Monday night.
Resident Jeffrey Huber said, "That horrendous odor. I mean, it's 90 degrees outside and we cannot open our windows."
At the town meeting, residents blasted Hillcrest Industries, which 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.
"I'm scared for everybody, absolutely. That's why the first thing has to be, whatever's getting this material airborne, has to be suppressed," said one concerned resident.
Jacquie Hiczewsai grew up in Attica and worries the town she loves is making her son sick.
"It just seems a little bit strange that it happened right about the same time as everything started with the odors. The odors started in October; he was diagnosed in September with this terrible cough," she said.
Two men who work for Hillcrest came to defend the company, worrying the outcry could cost them their jobs.
"There are 45 people up there who depend on that place for a job. And I want you all to look at the face of someone you might put out of work," said one Hillcrest employee.
Another worker at the recycling plant said, "I work on the filtration systems over there. He's doing everything he can to keep everything up to code."
Residents tell News 4 they are planning on hiring a lawyer.
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.
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