Smelly garbage dump upsets Kearny residents

Posted: Updated:

A landfill in Hudson County is giving off a bad odor and it is upsetting neighbors.

Residents say that the Keegan Landfill off Bergen Avenue in Kearny smells like rotten eggs and garbage.

“It’s been smelling a lot,” says neighbor Ramon Delgado.

The Keegan Landfill takes up 110 acres in Kearny. People who live nearby say that the smell has gotten worse in the last year.

“When it’s raining, cloudy, foggy or snowing – anything like that, I noticed it’s been really bad,” says Tony Rak.

Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos believes the cause is either liquid sewage sludge dumped off, gypsum or a malfunction in the system that takes care of leachate.

“Leachate is the gunk that comes out of a landfill after it rains,” says Santos. “And it has to be pumped to the sewage system and treated.”

But Santos says that he fears his complaints about the Keegan Landfill are falling on deaf ears because the site is run by the Sports and Exposition Authority, a state agency watched by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The NJSEA says in a statement, "The NJSEA has no reason to believe that the Keegan Landfill is the source of the odors.”

The statement continues, "The NJDEP and Hudson Regional Health Commission have inspected the Keegan Landfill more than 30 times since June 2018. There have been no violations issued to the NJSEA regarding odors."

Santos says that the town started to monitor air quality last week and says that readings of hydrogen sulfide have come in at 30 parts per billion.

"At that range, you can start getting irritation to the eyes nose and throat. You can also have difficulty breathing if you have a respiratory condition,” he says, adding that another time the reading was at 100 parts per billion.

Santos is urging his residents to alert the Kearny Department of Health if they experience any health issues due to the smell.

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